Industry associations representing operators sought to clarify what they claimed are misleading statements on South Korea’s internet market by critics of fair share policies in Europe, as debate over who pays for web traffic rumbles on.

ETNO and the Korea Telecommunications Operators Association (KTOA) jointly claimed inaccurate statements had been made about the South Korean market in commentary on discussions in the European Union

“In the context of this legitimate policy debate, some have distorted facts and made unreasonable claims about the Korean internet market,” the pair noted. “We respect diverse opinions, but we also want to highlight the facts about what has always been considered the global success of Korean networks and internet markets.”

Groups opposing calls for content providers to contribute to European operators’ network costs argue such moves in Korea resulted in a drop in quality of service.

ETNO and KOTA countered, arguing Korea enjoys higher-quality fixed and mobile connectivity than Europe, and seeking to debunk claims consumers in Asia have limited access to the internet, and online services and businesses.

The operator groups noted current fair share debates in the European Union are focused on large players, whereas in Korea all content providers are treated equally and pay standard usage fees.

They highlighted debate in Korea over the contributions of “a few big tech companies” and concerns these outfits are abusing dominant market positions by ducking those charges.

“While every market has its own environment, the need for policy solutions to promote the healthy growth of the global internet ecosystem is mounting and it needs to be addressed urgently,” the pair concluded.