KCC’s Guidelines on Net Neutrality and Internet Traffic Management, December 26, 20111 


Ⅰ. Purpose

  1. This guideline’s purpose is to facilitate an open and fair internet environment and make possible a healthy and sustainable development of the information and communication technology ecosystem by setting basic rules regarding net neutrality and internet traffic. 


Ⅱ. Basic Rules (ground rules)

User Rights

  1. The internet users are entitled to information concerning internet traffic while they are allowed to freely use legitimate contents, applications, and appliances or devices unless they cause hazard to services or networks. 


Transparent Administration of Internet Traffic

  1. Internet access service providers should disclose the purpose, scope, conditions, procedures and methods for managing network traffic and should also notify the users of the details or effects of actions taken as required for managing network traffic. (Should there be an unavoidable reason that makes it difficult to disclose to the user, notification may be sufficient in lieu of disclosure). The KCC may choose a separate method and scope of to-be-disclosed or to-be-notified information should the need arise. 


Prohibition of Blocking

  1. Any legitimate contents, applications or appliances or devices should not be blocked unless they cause hazard to services or networks. This may not apply in cases where there is need for reasonable traffic management.


Prohibition of Unreasonable Discrimination

  1. Internet Service Providers should not unreasonably discriminate legitimate content by the type of content · application · service or its provider. This may not apply in cases where there is need for reasonable traffic management.


Reasonable Traffic Management

  1. The need for reasonable traffic management arises in, but is not limited to, the cases below. The scope, conditions, procedures, methods and reasonableness of rational traffic management is separately determined by the KCC. In such a case, it can be determined differently depending on the type of network(cable, wireless, etc) and characteristic of the technology. 

① When it is needed to secure network security and safety
② When it is needed to protect the majority of users’ rights from network congestion due to temporary overload, etc.
③ When it is needed to follow government bodies’ requests according to law, or to execute other relevant laws.


Ⅲ. Managed Service

  1. Internet Service Providers may provide managed service as long as the Best Effort Internet service quality does not fall below adequate levels. The KCC separately monitors the quality effects of the managed service to the Best Effort Internet, and the market effects. 


Ⅳ. Mutual Cooperation

  1. Internet Service Providers and content · application · service providers must cooperate to achieve healthy and sustainable development of the ICT ecosystem, and must especially cooperate to provide content · application · service and to operate networks in a stable manner by providing information and cooperating in good faith when necessary. A council may also be created when needed to create autonomous market standards for net neutrality and internet traffic management.  


Ⅴ. Policy Advisory Body Member · Operation

  1. The KCC selects members of and operates a separate Policy Advisory Body where stakeholders · experts, and others participate in deliberating upon transparent internet traffic management, creating standards and methods of implementation of such guidelines regarding the scope, procedure, and method of reasonable traffic management and the reasonableness of traffic management, and seeking new market order stemming from changes in the ICT ecosystem. Necessary matters regarding the composition and operation are determined separately by the KCC. 


1. Korea Communications Commission 2011 Annual Report, pg 96-97