Please find below the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the UNESCO Report, World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development (The final publication is expected later in December.):
There is an interesting paragraph about ‘zero-rating’ an net neutrality:
‘Similarly, mobile internet uptake and the practice of ‘zero-rating’—in which internet or mobile service providers allow users to access specific content or applications without counting towards the user’s data ‘cap’ – have significantly expanded pluralism in terms of access to the internet, especially among the poorest. However, the type of access is often limited to specific mobile apps, introducing concerns that these services may possibly create private ‘walled gardens’ at odds with the principles of openness and net neutrality.’
Friederike Maier, member of the CMFE expert group, did a workshop on ‘Future transmission systems’ last weekend at the Radio Congress in Hamburg and thinks that within the next couple of years IP-based transmission systems will become more relevant, especially the mobile ones over LTE and its successors, also for community media.
In many countries mobile broadband providers are testing at the moment how to adapt forms
of zero-rating and abolish net neutrality (see also the discussion in the US atm). Without
net neutrality the internet will loose its diversity and openness.
And as community media are most often not the media with the most resources there is a risk
that they will not be available without discrimination in the mobile internet in future.
CMFE would be interested in opinions about net neutrality and experiences from your country
about this topic!