ITW EXCLUSIVE: Net neutrality regulation must not prevent innovation between carriers and OTTs

15 May 2014 |


The evolving dynamic between content providers and carriers was at the forefront on day two of ITW 2014, as panellists agreed that over-regulation on the net neutrality issue could hinder OTT and carrier relationships.

"Redefining content and carrier relations for mutual benefit" was the third session on day two, with the wholesale sector urging increased collaboration between the two segments.

Panellists said both OTTs and carriers need to start working together on a solution for coping with increasing traffic and improving end-user experience.

Andrew Kwok, president of international and carrier business at Hutchison Global Communications said the company is now past blaming revenue losses on OTTs.

"We need to move on and instead start focussing on how can we work with OTTs and how they can help us get more business," he said.

Najam Ahmad, director of networking at Facebook argued that net neutrality regulations can prevent innovation as companies are wary of inadvertently falling foul of legislation.

"Both sides – OTTs and carriers – are investing in network infrastructure separately. Instead we need to partner to come up with a solution to cope with increasing traffic volume together," Ahmad said.

Kwok said Hutchison is looking to co-operate with OTTs to generate revenue together, by creating a revenue-sharing model. However the company acts cautiously and even hesitantly when setting up partnerships with OTTs for fear of breaking net neutrality rules.

NTT's Communications EVP of global IP networks, Michael Wheeler, reiterated Kwok's message, and said "too much regulatory involvement can create a cumbersome environment".