11:28 pm - 07/13/2012

South Korea Gives Mobile Operators Permission To Block or Charge for VOIP Services

Net neutrality arguments are often couched in rather theoretical terms, and many people can't really see what all the fuss is about. A recent decision in South Korea gives a handy example of what the loss of net neutrality means in practice:
  • In a move that has critics crying that it is ignoring net neutrality principles, the Korea Communications Commission said last week that it will let three local mobile operators, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, charge users extra fees for VOIP [voice over IP] applications or block their use entirely.
Among the VOIP services affected is the mobile phone messaging app KakaoTalk, which has a massive following in South Korea:
  • KakaoTalk has 36 million Korean users and 9.2 million international users. More than half of 50 million Korean cell phone owners use smartphones, according to the Korea Communications Commission.
In other words, thanks to this latest ruling, tens of millions of KakaoTalk users in South Korea will either be forced to pay more, or may even find the service blocked completely. It's hard to see why the South Korean telecom authority decided this kind of tilted playing field was a good idea: the only ones to benefit are the mobile operators who get to attack new entrants that threatened to disrupt their market, while huge numbers of Korean citizens will be worse off as a result. You could hardly hope for a better demonstration of why net neutrality matters, and is not some purely theoretical concern.

TechDirt.com
Well this is going to screw over a lot of people. RIP KakaoTalk and Naver Line.
jcdhwg 13th-Jul-2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
I hope all of them go to a different operator.. Texting is so 2009 tbh. I'd have very expensive phone bills without my Whatsapp and imessage.
michurusan 13th-Jul-2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
How am I going to text with MY OPPARS IN KOREA?!
inknot 13th-Jul-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
BUT KAKAOTALK HAS THE BEST EMOJI!!!!!!

ALSO HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO TALK TO MY FRIENDS IN KOREA?! BOOOOO
sayhitoforever 13th-Jul-2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
r.i.p. 카톡
lobotronic 13th-Jul-2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
shit!!!!! Kakaotalk is my life!!! crying real tears, guys.. ugh.
chibi_rei 14th-Jul-2012 03:47 am (UTC)
Crap if my friends and I can't use KakaoTalk we're screwed.
madelyn93 14th-Jul-2012 05:56 am (UTC)
DOES THAT MEAN I ACTUALLY HAVE TO FORK OUT 99CENTS FOR WHATSAPP NOW
no i am asian i am cheap i will not
leesooyeons 14th-Jul-2012 08:45 am (UTC)
no way jose
snowystingray 14th-Jul-2012 11:14 am (UTC)
Whuuuuuuut. :/ I will be interested to see how this actually plays out, but my initial reaction is panic and anguish and NOOOOOO. I realize this type of move is probably targeted at phone users exactly like me... I rarely text or call and have pretty much the bare minimum plan for minutes/texts; about 85% of what I use my phone for is Skype and kakao. But I pay for unlimited data so I CAN USE MY DATA WITHOUT LIMITATIONS, fuck yoooouuuu, ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh UGH!!!!
elizajet 14th-Jul-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh ffs.

I hope one of them keeps Kakaotalk free- they'll be getting my business when I buy a Smartphone in the coming months.
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