정보통신산업의 망 중립성 규제 연구: 경쟁과 혁신활동에 미치는 영향을 중심으로
Until now, information on the Internet has been delivered in a “first-in-first-out” manner, where the router sends the information in their arrival order regardless of sender or recipient. But, with the introduction of new services and its spread which need an extensive use of bandwidth or whose quality is highly responsive to the delayed trans-mission of information, there is a growing argument that the transmission structure of Internet should be transformed. This argument includes no more first-in-first-out, the network division into premium and basic type, the differentiated traffic intensity depending on the type of content/application or sender/recipient, and additional charge on content providers (CP) who use the quality-guaranteed premium network. This argument of traffic prioritization has been already realized in the U.S., Europe and Korea by way of blocking the transmission of content/application from certain CPs or degrading the transmission quality of P2Ptraffic.
Recognizing the current status, this study conducts a detailed analysis of the preceding issues addressed regarding traffic prioritization and approval of additional charge on CPs and suggests whether the regulation on net-work neutrality should be adopted and what the regulations include. First, the study looks over critical issues related to network neutrality regulation and then examines theoretical and realistic feasibility of arguments that have been raised until now. Then, the study intends to show that the approval of traffic prioritization is not an inevitable choice to provide ISP with investment incentives or to secure the transmission quality of traffic which is highly responsive to delayed trans-mission. But, when considering that traffic prioritization is a cost-effective method to secure the transmission quality, it needs to be applied in an active way. This study also argues that in the case of Korea, an ISP vertically integrated with a CP has incentives to discriminate rival CPs and traffic prioritization can be used as a tool for the discrimination. Lastly, there is a possibility that the approval of traffic prioritization and additional charge is likely to constrain innovative activities of small and newly established CPs that are experiencing financial constraints. However, as long as the use of premium net-work is not overly charged and the quality of basic network remains adequate, it is thought that adverse effects are unlikely to be serious.
Based on this result, the study concludes that traffic prioritization and additional charge should be approved but, at the same time, it is also necessary to properly implement adjusted regulations on network neutrality as well as policies to complement the regulations in order to protect fair competition and innovative activities in cyberspace. The regulations this study finds appropriate include: ①streamlining systems to constrain anti-competitive behaviors of an ISP vertically integrated with a CP, ②adopting a regulation that could restrict excessive charge on the use of premium network, and ③preparing a regulation to guarantee the minimum transmission quality of traffic on basic net-work. Also, this study suggests the adoption of a system that encourages competition and reduces the switching cost of business as a policy to complement the network neutrality regulation and enhance the innovation and growth of the market for Internet service.
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