internet lab | Podcast Season: 1 - Episode: 12 / Release date: 12-1-2023

1:1 with Konstantinos Komaitis
Internet Policy & Strategy expert and author

Key Quotes

"Without content, at the end of the day, there are no customers, and thus there is no traffic."
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"The relationships between [Internet] actors are much, much more complex than what a pay-out scheme could possibly solve."
2 / 18
"Telecom operators feel that they deserve special treatment, and that comes from the old way of doing things under the telephone network. (...) On the Internet that’s really not the case."
3 / 18
"The Internet (...) is a decentralised technology, it has no centre of control, so that no one can be more special than the other."
4 / 18
"Telecom networks are important parts of the Internet ecosystem, but they are not the entirety of the Internet ecosystem."
5 / 18
"[Network fees] flip the idea of the global and open Internet on its head, it can also be the cause of great fragmentation."
6 / 18
"It is a really bad policy idea for Europe, as well as for the Internet, to suggest legislation that seeks to regulate how IP networks are managed (...)."
7 / 18
"[Network fees are] really a conversation about net neutrality, because the core thing about net neutrality is the concern of how ISPs can serve as gatekeepers to the content that we users are paying to access."
8 / 18
"Considering that ISPs are literally the only pathway to our homes, they have tremendous power to determine what content I can access and on what terms."
9 / 18
"[Network fees] not only provide an unfair advantage to certain telecom operators and platforms, but will further expand the power telecom operators have in the access market."
10 / 18
"[Network fees:] it goes completely against the existing Open Internet Regulation and will negatively affect the Internet experience in Europe"
11 / 18
"The Commission should ask itself and provide an answer as to how sustainable a model that is premised on Big Tech companies paying out (...) telcos (...) is going to be in the long run."
12 / 18
"Europe has been talking a lot about [digital] sovereignty (...) and right now we're inviting [US companies] within Europe's core infrastructure, because they will be part of the infrastructure once they start negotiating those deals."
13 / 18
"What sort of an Internet future the Commission would like to foster? Is it one where future innovators have the opportunity to participate and contribute? Or is it one where (...) Big Tech or telcos determine the way evolution happens?"
14 / 18
"It is crucial we frame this question as one that seeks to understand the roles and responsibilities (...) within the Internet ecosystem, rather than one that is premised on (...) you have to pay me."
15 / 18
"Europe has a choice to make (...) The choice is whether to have a user centric Internet or one that is driven by a small number of actors: Big Tech or telcos."
16 / 18
"The main question that I would love the Commission and Europe to answer when it comes to this specific [network fee] issue is: why does Europe really want to go backwards?"
17 / 18
"We have a new Commission that is willing to reopen the same debate and have the same conversation, when there is no evidence that we actually need this conversation anymore."
18 / 18

Watch Episode & Highlights

About Our Guest

Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis | Internet Policy & Strategy expert and author
Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis is a veteran in developing and analysing Internet policy to ensure an open and global Internet. He spent almost ten years in active policy and strategy development as a Senior Director at the Internet society. Before that, he spent 7 years as a senior lecturer at the university of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he was researching and teaching Internet policy. Konstantinos is a public speaker having talked at many events around the world, including a TedX talk. He is also the author of a book on domain name regulation and a writer for a variety of outlets such as Politico, Brookings, Slate, TechDirt, and EurActiv. Finally, he is the co-host with Jillian York of the "Internet of Humans Podcast".