Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) yesterday asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) not to follow in the footsteps of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in abandoning the principle of net neutrality.
The US adopted net neutrality in laws and regulations applied to Internet service providers during the administration of former US president Barack Obama, barring Internet service providers from offering faster Internet services for those who could afford to pay more, Lin said, but added that the FCC voted to repeal those regulations last year.
Following the FCC’s decision, Taiwan Mobile urged the NCC to follow suit, Lin said.
Abandoning the principle of net neutrality would favor big Internet service providers such as Google and Facebook, which can afford to pay more for faster Internet connections, Lin said, adding that it could also push new players and start-ups out of the market.
Many telecoms have also produced over-the-top (OTT) content, which people can access through the Internet, Lin said.
If telecoms are exempted from observing net neutrality, people would be able to access the OTT content faster than other content, he said, adding that this would result in unfair competition.
Lin noted that many nations have chosen to enforce this principle, adding that the NCC should considering clearly stating the principle in the draft act on telecommunications service management (電信管理法).
The NCC should not be affected by the FCC decision or succumb to pressure from telecoms, Lin added.
In response, NCC Chairwoman Nicole Chan (詹婷怡) said that the draft act is based on the principle of net neutrality, even though the term is not included in the draft’s text.
“We have imposed obligations on significant market players, which should be enough to ensure that the principle is observed,” Chan said.
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