Zero-rating and neutrality policies in developing countries

11 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


This roundtable is aimed to go in depth in one of the emerging topics regarding internet governance: can net neutrality have exceptions when we discuss about access of internet in countries from Global South?

The question that we try to address has started to be developed in countries where zero-rated services have emerged and have become a seemingly convenient way to experience key services on the internet that would otherwise be unaffordable or too costly. For some states and companies, their reach would allow more people, especially from developing countries, to become part of a global exchange of ideas.

However, these services also raise several concerns, especially from civil society and technical sectors. Do zero-rated services provide real access to the internet? Should exceptions to net neutrality be allowed? Which exceptions, then? Is it fair to provide access only for certain private platforms and not others? Are zero-rated services a threat to the free and open internet? Can be the zero-rated services considered as a public policy?

Thus, in this roundtable we will try to advance in the nuances of the net neutrality concept from the perspective of participants from the Global South, where access to the internet is still a huge problem and some zero-rated services are being applied.

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