Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
At stake could be an Internet where all information is treated equally, promoting openness and free trade; a non-neutral Web benefits a few at the expense of many.
Business Times, May 7, 2015
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
 

Net neutrality has been a contentious topic around the world for more than a few years now but the truth of the matter is, it shouldn’t be contentious at all. The Internet – though not necessarily intended as such when it was created – has become the true equaliser and must remain that way.

It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, rich or poor: on the Internet your voice can be heard and then multiplied a billion times over and span the globe. A neutral Internet protects these voices, giving parity to all data, regardless of its source.

So why then, is there such a contentious debate over Net neutrality? Why does the United States seem at times frighteningly close to passing legislation which would destroy that neutrality and create an Internet controlled by a small group of multimedia conglomerates?

The conglomerates of course are partly to blame, along with uninformed American representatives. However, the public is also uninformed about Net neutrality and it’s easy to see how, if these Internet service providers (ISPs) and cable companies have their way, the repercussions could spread across the globe.

If the United States loses the battle over Net neutrality with the ISPs, the consequences in some cases will be immediate but in all long-run scenarios, dire.

We could see startup Internet companies facing ever-increasing barriers to entry, as fast-lane access to the Web is made less and less affordable. We could see streaming giants such as Netflix struggle to provide the same level of service at the prices users appreciate. All of this would increase profits for ISPs dramatically, at the expense of Internet users.

Around the world, the loss of this battle could be used as precedent for ISPs And multi media companies in other countries to take similar stances. If they see that America has become an open battleground, where ISPs can charge anyone any amount for access to the Web, and they’re making money doing it, why not try elsewhere?

Luckily the United States’ regulatory body for the telecommunications industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), acted in February to reclassify ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. This would force ISPs to act as utilities, in a way, treating all of the data they handle as equally as a water company treats the water from your tap and the tap of a company’s corporate headquarters.

It certainly is a step in the right direction, and in announcing it, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler spoke out for Net neutrality in a way that few others at his level have ever dared. But the battle is far from over. The ISPs are taking the proposed new classification to the courts and plan to fight tooth and nail – perhaps for years to come – in the courts to prevent such laws from taking hold. The ISPs have immense war chests to take on these litigations, so it remains to be seen just how much of the Title II classification ends up truly applying in the United States.

We know that the ISPs are willing to fight to end Net neutrality, but can America’s leaders be trusted to fight back? Mr Wheeler is pushing the United States towards an open Internet and while he ostensibly has President Barack Obama’s backing, no one knows just how the judiciary will act, or how the rest of the world will react.

To secure a neutral Internet, Mr Wheeler and Mr Obama will Also need the will of the people on their side. At the moment, few are properly informed about Net neutrality, but the more people are told about Net neutrality, the more likely they will be to support it. It’s hard to argue against freedom of information when you have the freedom to research the benefits and drawbacks of Net neutrality for yourself.

TWO-TIER SYSTEM
While in the United States the opening moves in a war to protect Net neutrality are taking place, in Europe legislators are having a more difficult time taking even those early steps. Unlike the United States – where a powerful federal agency sets the agenda for telecommunications regulations – European regulators have to find common ground between the dozens of nations which make up the European Union and telecommunications companies which serve them.

Currently, the Council of the EUis proposing a two-tier system where there would be a faster lane and a “less-efficient” lane depending on the priority of the services being used and potentially, what you’re willing to pay.

If this sounds like a proposal that goes against the very principle of Net neutrality, it is because it does. Naturally, the telecoms companies across Europe love the idea, because while it outwardly appears that the top speed tier might only be for important services like hospitals or research institutions, the possibility to charge anyone for premium service is still on the table.

The Council claims they want to safeguard open access to the Web but rest assured, should the European Parliament turn their proposal into law, it would be a massive step backwards for Net neutrality. And should the United States destroy Net neutrality first, those battling to protect it in Europe may find their footing less steady than once thought.

In the coming months and years, much more will be said of Net neutrality by pundits in the media and politicians in the houses of government, but one thing is certain: a neutral Internet – where all information is treated equally – promotes openness, dialogue, free press, free speech and free trade, while a non-neutral Web benefits a few at the expense of many.

Losing the battle for Net neutrality in the United States, where so many of the Internet’s most innovative companies do business, would be a profound loss that could start a dangerous trend worldwide. As informed Internet users, it is our job to educate the world and fight to protect information equality just as we fight to protect human equality, for the two are intimately linked.

 

The writer is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community.


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