In a video interview, Hogan Lovells partner Mark Parsons presented the Asian debate on net neutrality. Citing greater retail competition in certain Asian markets, Parsons pointed out that the US debate cannot be transposed as-is to Asia. A “market by market” approach is required, says Parsons. Many Asian markets have “fantastic broadband speeds, so you don’t see so many throttling issues,” according to Parsons. Unbundling of the local loop and the retail ISP competition provide greater choice to many Asian customers than what exists in the US. As in the US, Parsons says large incumbents view net neutrality as a threat to investment in their networks. Smaller Internet service providers also fear that the bigger Internet players will be able to build separate, super-fast, Internet links unless net neutrality rules are enforced. Everyone wants innovation to continue, said Parsons, whether at the edge or within the networks.
Parson’s interview follows a similar interview of Hogan Lovells Paris partner Winston Maxwell, asked about the net neutrality debate in Europe. Like Parsons, Maxwell cited retail competition as a key differentiator with the US. (Maxwell’s interview is in French.)