Raiders of the Open Internet? Dr Rohan Samarajiva Speaks

TVE Asia Pacific
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As the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12: Dubai, UAE, 3-14 December 2012) approaches, the debate on keeping the Internet open and free has intensified.

In this web video, Dr Rohan Samarajiva, Chair and CEO of LIRNEasia, an ICT research organisation, outlines his deep concerns about some current proposals to WCIT that, if accepted, can radically alter the way data moves around online.

He is especially critical of a proposal by European telecom operators (ETNO) that wants Internet content providers designated as “call originators” and then subjected to a “sending party network pays” rule. That could allow operators to charge content providers with rates that vary on how graphics-rich or data-heavy the latter’s content is. Internet access could then become more expensive as content providers will be forced to pass along costs.

Dr Samarajiva cautions that such myopic policies, if allowed, can fragment the open Internet, and make large swaths of useful content beyond the reach of hundreds of millions of users in the developing world. For millions of people who are only just getting on the information superhighway, this can mean: ‘Road Closed’.

The interview, conducted by science writer and TVE Asia Pacific Director Nalaka Gunawardene, was recorded in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 4 October 2012. This is released without copyrights restrictions, allowing anyone anywhere to use it in advocacy.

Read the full interview text at: http://tinyurl.com/WCIT12

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