Webinar: Global Internet Interconnection Practices and Korea’s “Network Usage Fee” Discourse

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Net Neutrality, Open Seminar, Open Seminar main, Press Release | 0 comments

The success of Squid Game and Netflix have raised the cries of “free-riding on internet” against Netflix in Korea as Netflix has only settlement-free-peered with Korean ISPs. President Moon has indirectly supported a bill imposing “network usage fee” currently docketed in the national legislature. International human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Article 19, EFF, EDRi, PEN America, Wikimedia Foundation, etc., have called the bill as mandating ‘paid prioritization’ violating the net neutrality norm which requires ISPs to treat all data equally and therefore bans any type of payment for delivering (or prioritizing delivery of) data. 

Netflix and foreign content providers operating in Korea also argue, independently of net neutrality, that they have already contributed to the users’ access to overseas data by shouldering the cost of bringing it all the way to the doorstep of Korean ISPs via sub-sea cables or cache servers. However, the local media is reporting that yet some other foreign content providers are already paying ‘network usage fee’ indirectly through commercial CDNs, and also that Netflix, Google, and others have actually paid ‘network usage fee’, further complicating the discourse.  

We would like to delve into what ‘network usage fee’ means in the context of the practice and custom of global interconnection, what CDN’s payments to ISPs mean and how they differ from ‘network usage fee’ demanded upon Netflix and others, and whether ‘network usage fee’ really contradicts net neutrality, with the following experts: 

Thomas Volmer, Director of Global Content Delivery Policy, Netflix (in person)

Presentation_Thomas Volmer_Netflix

Alissa Starzak, Vice President, Global Public Policy, Cloudflare (remotely)

Presentation_Alissa Starzak_Cloudflare

Michael Kende, Senior Advisor, Analysys Mason (remotely), the author of IP Interconnection on the internet: a white paper 

Presentation_Michael Kende, Analysys Mason

Moderated by: Prof. Kyung Sin (“KS”) Park, Korea University, Director of Open Net



NOVEMBER 23, 1 PM KST (introductory video starting at 12:45 pm)

*Please review the following videos for a better understanding of the technical terms, which will be played before the webinar begins: 

Net Neutrality Explained v1: How Internet Works – Why phone calls are expensive, video calls cheap

Net Neutrality Explained v2: Why Internet is not charged like water and power

Net Neutrality Explained v3: How Charging Senders, Network Slicing and Zero-rating can be Unfair


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