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Network Neutrality and Smart Televisions

From GigaOm, we find that:

Korea Telecom in South Korea has taken an interesting twist on the idea [of network neutrality], and decided to block Samsung’s Smart TVs from accessing the Internet, according to this article from the Maeil Business Newspaper, a large S. Korean daily. That’s right, net neutrality isn’t just for applications anymore.

It’s absurd that so-called ‘SmartTVs’ are being blocked on the basis of data consumption: as content goes HD and it is piped over IP (and fibre optic lines!) it’s absurd that ‘data consumption’ could justify cutting these televisions from the IP network. No, what we’re seeing is an effort to stymie over-the-top growth unless the content owner/monopolist can find a way to extract unjustified rents. The Korean example is a clear example of why network neutrality regulations are so important.