Mexico prepares for new Internet neutrality policy

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This principle promotes that all web traffic is equal, without the user having to pay more for some content, site, platform, or application.

Starting this year, Mexico will have a net neutrality policy, a principle that establishes equal conditions for the service of web pages and applications by providers.

This principle promotes that all web traffic is equal, without the user having to pay more for some content, site, platform, or application.

In this way, Internet providers would be prevented from reducing the download speed of sites that require large data flows, such as streaming platforms, social networks, and search engines.

This week, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) approved the Guidelines for traffic management and network administration to which concessionaires and authorized persons who provide the internet access service must abide, that is, the bases of the neutrality of the network in Mexico.

The regulator reported that these guidelines “guarantee free choice, user privacy, inviolability of their private communications, non-discrimination of Internet traffic, as well as the quality, capacity, and speed of the service contracted by the user, at the same time that contribute to closing the digital divide, promote the growth of the digital ecosystem and encourage the deployment of infrastructure ”.

A net neutrality policy allows users to access their websites, services, and applications at the same speed and with the same availability without having to pay more.

Today, web service providers and dealers manage the last mile of the web, which is how content is delivered across devices and platforms.

Companies such as Telcel, AT&T, Izzi, Telmex, and Axtel, among others, can decide whether a service is going to be delivered slower or faster, depending on their agreements or promotions.

With net neutrality, this must end as users have the free choice to access any service without being discriminated against or interfered with by network providers.

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In this sense, the IFT pointed out that network providers should guarantee access to the content, applications, and services available on the internet without placing offers that fragment the internet, that is, giving access to only a subset of the content.

However, among the guidelines published this week, and that companies must adopt within 60 days after they are published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, mobile operators may include “sponsored access” to data as part of the plan or package contracted by the user.

Likewise, the IFT established that providers may implement traffic management and network administration policies for “technical reasons”.

“Given that the capacity of telecommunications networks is finite, traffic management and network administration are required to guarantee an efficient performance of the networks and with it the provision of services,” said the regulator.

For the organization Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D), these elements violate the principle of neutrality since it opens the door for companies to discriminate between applications, content, and services.

Regarding “sponsored access”, Luis Fernando García, director of the organization, said that instead of choosing the application that he likes the most, a user will end up being conditioned to choose the one that the operator decided to be free for his commercial benefit.

“What they don’t tell you when they give you ‘free’ access to some applications is that at the same time the cost of accessing the rest of the applications, content, and services increases. Studies show that you end up paying more money for less internet, “he said.

At the end of 2019, the IFT put to public consultation a preliminary draft of guidelines for net neutrality, which was contested by different organizations for considering it contrary to this principle.

Following the publication of the new guidelines this week, the R3D anticipates a new challenge in order to guarantee the neutrality of the network in the country.

Source: OEM

Mexico Daily Post