Open Net Speaks to Brazil and ANATEL on network usage fee proposal

by | May 19, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

On April 28, K.S. Park spoke at an event organized by ITS Rio and Association for Progressive Communications in Sao Paulo on the “network usage fee” proposal. He focused on the financing structure of the internet on defraying the data delivery cost whereby “everyone pays to connect so that nobody pays to send”, which made possible the information revolution that gave every formerly powerless individual the tools of mass communication formerly reserved only for celebrities, politicians, or heinous criminals. He then discussed how the partial change to the rule in Korea whereby ISPs were ordered to pay one another to send increased the supply-side internet access fees (or equivalently transit fees) to a comparatively incredible level (10 times Frankfurt 8 times Paris 5-6 times NY/LA) decimating the startups’ financial health. He then proposed that a change contemplated in Brazil even if applied only to the big foreign content providers will make the harms trickle down to individual or SME content providers (presentation slides below). A special point was made on the importance of the internet’s rule of ‘no payment for sending’ to democracy, in the hypothetical of a democracy fighter having to worry about how many people will access his/her protest leaflets.

The presentation was covered by the country’s largest newspaper O Globo (PDF below).


On the next day on April 29, KS Park visited the ANATEL headquarter in Brasilia and met wit the President of ANATEL, commissioners of ANATEL, and their chief advisors, and also gave a lecture to ANATEL’s technical staff on the issue (I am leaving them anonymous given the political sensitivity of the issue). According to the local civil society who arranged the meetings, positive feedbacks came back from ANATEL from all the camps on the ‘network fee’ proposal. In particular, it was noted that some of the issues that ANATEL officers were concerned with such as platform accountability or taxation could be dealt with without having to tax internet traffic, and without having to erode the golden principle of the internet that everyone pays to connect so that no one pays to send, which means the information revolution for all people.



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