Korea Should Not Require Companies to Pay to Deliver Digital Content
Since the emergence of the broadband internet, there have been disagreements about who should pay to transmit data. For the most part, virtually all nations have concluded that as the one requesting the content, the consumer should pay (through fees to their ISP). After all, if a Korean user wants to download a video from itif.org (the think tank I lead in Washington, D.C.), why should ITIF pay? We already pay a company to host our content.
Yet that is what Korean ISPs and the Korean government want. Starting with a 2016 amendment to Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act (TBA), same-tier ISPs (of comparable size) have had to compensate each other based on the volume of traffic they exchange under a sending-party-network-pays policy (SPNP). But as Rob Atkinson explains in a column for The Korea Times, consumers are the ones who ultimately pay in this arrangement.