Reuters reported South Korea’s parliament commenced debate into draft bills to ensure Netflix and Google pay a fair price for network access as traffic surges, adding to growing global scrutiny of the contributions big tech players make to operators.
The news site reported Netflix and Google account for more than a third of domestic traffic, with a public hearing today (21 October) seeing disputes on whether the companies should be charged for network access.
Some legislators reportedly objected to the proposal, fearing it could give the companies justification to raise subscription fees and so “undermine South Korean content creators”.
Google’s video streaming platform YouTube reportedly filed a petition signed by more than 250,000 people opposing the legislation, Reuters reported citing news site OpenNet.
Earlier this year, YouTube allegedly threatened to curtail investment in the country over the push to charge it for network access, while Netflix previously lost a legal battle against SK Broadband following a similar altercation on fair costs.
South Korea’s move echoes recent plans by European regulators to make big tech companies pay for network access after operators complained they have been getting a free ride.