Network neutrality

Network neutrality means that all data on the Internet should be treated the same. This is closely linked with the idea of an "open Internet" meaning all resources of the Internet should be easily accessible to everyone.

People often describe network neutrality as the need to consider the "five alls."

  • all origins
  • all destinations
  • all ports
  • all protocols
  • all content.

We think that any consideration of network neutrality should start from the "five alls."

We accept that networks and governments will not allow 'all' ports, or 'all' content, but policy decisions should be made from this starting point. Any restrictions to the 'five alls' should be carefully considered and debated.

We have carefully considered network neutrality issues here in New Zealand. We think the separation we have between network owners (like Chorus and local fibre networks) and Internet Service Providers that sell you Internet access, protects us against the majority of net neutrality issues. However, we are keeping an eye on the Internet Service Provider and wholesale markets to make sure we don't end up with a net neutrality problem.

We have been putting forward net neutrality issues and concerns in a number of regulatory processes, such as the telecommunications regulation review, and provided input to the Commerce Commission on the potential net neutrality impacts of Sky TV and Vodafone New Zealand merging.

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