Introducing Net Neutrality User Forum (NNUF)


Rapid spread of smartphones has caused considerable changes to ICT(information and communications technology) environment globally. The changes has brought into massive internet traffic and spreading of new application services such as mVoIP(mobile Voice over IP) that utilizes mobile internet among mobile devices smartphones, tablets and etc. There have been lots of policy debates regarding how to manage heavy internet traffic, which has threatened the ‘openness’ of internet.

To cope with the challenge, Korean government enacted ‘Guideline over Net Neutrality and Management of Internet Traffic’ in 2011. The guideline contains the scope and details of internet traffic and mVoIP service management. Korea Communications Commission (KCC), in charge of ICT policy of Korea, also organized ‘Net Neutrality Policy Advisory Committee,’ as well as ‘Task Force for mVoIP Policy,’ for establishing net neutrality policy.

Korean telecommunication companies, which have oligopolistic power on network service, have discriminated mVoIP service as well as Smart TV service by blocking or degrading the service without any reasonable cause only for the purpose of maintaining their monopolistic profit. Notwithstanding any discrimination on contents, application services or devices could ultimately harm end-user’s welfare, Korean end-users have been excluded not only from accessing information regarding official net neutrality policy debates but participating in the legislative proceedings concerning net neutrality.

11 civic organizations(*) and end-users have gathered together to organize an advocacy group, the ‘Net Neutrality User Forum(NNUF),’ for publicizing net neutrality issue and participating in legal proceedings regarding the issue in a way of reflecting end user’s interest.

To promote public discourse on net neutrality, NNUF have held many meetings and fora including three fora, three public lectures, an open forum, three open seminars as well as a citizen’s request. NNUF will hold more forums regarding ‘internet governance’ while embarking on civil legislation movement to legislate ‘net neutrality act’ and filing an information-disclosure law litigation.

(*) Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice, Citizen’s Coalition for Democratic Media, Democratic Legal Studies Association, People’s Coalition for Media Reform, OpenNet, OurNet Korea, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, Young People’s Coalition for Economic Democracy, Korean Womenlink Fair Media, Citizen’s Action Network.

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