At the 2015 Stockholm Internet Forum that just completed, I moderated one of the best attended unconference sessions titled “Zero rating violates net neutrality. So what?“. The discussion I moderated was heated, with a spectrum of opinions being expressed. Some said that zero rated content simply creates a ghetto-ized version of the Internet for the poor and therefore should not be allowed.
One of the unconference sessions proposed by LIRNEasia has been chosen. Time and place will be announced here. Zero Rating violates Net Neutrality – so what? Zero Rated content doesn’t count towards his/her data cap. Users can consume this content for free/very cheap, while paying “regular” data fees for others.
below is the long version of the pitch we made to the Stockholm Internet Forum. Hopefully, it will gain enough votes to be included. Billions are yet to be connected to the Internet. Some lessons can be drawn from the case of the previous success story of connecting billions to voice telephony. For example, from experience with industry-specific taxes and universal service funds we have a much better understanding of how taxes and subsidies are likely to affect access to and affordability of Internet.