InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter has condemned the decision by the United States communications regulator to undo 2015 open Internet rules, warning that all Internet users will end up worse off as a result.
“The FCC should have left the open Internet orders in place. Their decision instead damages the Internet for everyone,” Carter says.
“An open Internet that isn’t captured by big ISPs or content companies is the platform for innovation and development New Zealand and the world need.
“The repeal of these American open Internet requirements means that over time, innovation is at risk in the United States. Dominant ISPs or content providers could do deals that make it harder for new services to emerge.
“If the next Netflix or Google faces discrimination from big ISPs in trying to offer their services, then new innovation is just less likely – and so over time we are all worse off.
“Since so many of the services we use online have been developed in America, what is bad for the Internet there is bad for us all.
“Fortunately New Zealand doesn’t have the market problems that make network neutrality such a pressing issue in the U.S. In particular the fact Chorus, provider of most broadband Internet infrastructure, does not offer retail ISP service and has no deals with content providers gives a layer of security to Kiwi Internet users. Until recently there haven’t been close links between big ISPs and big media or content companies. It is fortuitous that our local market is set up in this way, and has largely avoided the worst risks to a neutral Internet, but we should not take it for granted that this will always be the case without work to keep it that way.
“InternetNZ is a voice for the open Internet and for Kiwi Internet users. We keep a sharp eye on the net neutrality situation here in New Zealand, and speak out when the open Internet is put at risk. There’s little that New Zealand can do to stem the problems arising from this American decision, but we must make sure similar problems don’t develop here.”