Battle for the internet
The revised ITRs could, however, still create new barriers to access. Several telecom companies, particularly the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), see the WCIT as an opportunity to open up a revenue stream, given that new technologies are eroding the value of voice calls. The key question is, should the internet be treated like regular phone services when it comes to regulation and pricing? The ETNO wants to eliminate net neutrality — the idea that all operators give equal priority to all forms of data — and introduce a “sender pay” model, which would require the originator of the content to pay for data transmission, creating enormous costs for content providers like Google. It could lead to companies offloading this extra cost to consumers, or to a new digital divide where large content providers will stop sending data to countries where the returns from sending traffic are small compared to the costs of transmission.
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