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Government backs net neutrality - Robinson

Published:Wednesday | July 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
State minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson. - File

As the debate over Internet-calling services rages, and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) weighs the implication and resolution of the current blockade, the Jamaican Government has come out in support of maintaining an open Internet, with access to VoIP and other services.

"As a Government, we are committed to a concept called Net neutrality," Julian Robinson, minister of state for the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, said on TVJ's morning programme 'Smile Jamaica' on July 10.

Net neutrality basically states that all data on the Internet should be treated equally by governments and Internet service providers (ISPs).

That would mean that if a consumer buys a certain amount of data from his ISP, he should be able to use it however he sees fit, whether downloading movies or music, accessing VoIP providers, or buying items via online retailers or e-tailers.

But Government will not be making any decision on whether the telecom companies should continue to offer VoIP services on their networks.

"The OUR will make the decision," Robinson said.

The OUR has been holding meetings with stakeholders, including the telecom providers, "to discuss complaints sparked by their decision to ban unlicensed VoIP applications from their network," a release from the organisation said last week.