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We explore the digital revolution and check out the latest technological trends. Every Saturday at 2.15 pm Paris time.

#TECH 24

#TECH 24

Latest update : 2011-03-03

The debate over 'Net Neutrality'

The internet has long been a bastion of open communication where information flows freely. That era may soon come to an end as more governments consider placing new restrictions on the exchange of data. This week on Tech 24: the debate over "Net Neutrality".

For billions of people around the world, the internet is now an indispensible tool that plays a vital role in their daily lives. The ability to easily and quickly access information from almost anywhere and communicate by text, audio or video messages with anyone connected to the network is largely taken for granted. Just how all those bits of data are delivered is now the subject of a fierce debate in capitals across Europe and the United States.

The argument in support of 'Net Neutrality'

Since the internet was born in the mid-1990s, there’s been an egalitarian ethos -- all data, whether it comes from a lone blogger in Tajikistan or from a multinational corporation in New York, is treated equally. The telecommunications companies that deliver information to computers, phones and other internet-connected devices have not discriminated or prioritized one type of contents over another. In essence, internet service providers, known as ISPs, have stuck to the policy of "network neutrality".


Times have changed

Until recently, ISPs found that notion to be relatively easy to accommodate. Sending text emails and simple web pages did not place much strain on their networks, and their operating costs remained in check. Today, telecom operators like Comcast in the United States, France Telecom and Spain's Telefonica are among a growing number of ISPs who assert that, with the arrival of streaming video, internet phone calls and other data-heavy online services, their costs are skyrocketing.

The argument against 'Net Neutrality'

Now, these big companies want to change the rules. Instead of treating all internet traffic equally, they're asking their governments to give them permission to prioritize certain kinds of internet traffic over others. Companies like Google (and its subsidiary You Tube), Facebook and others major sites would have to pay to have their content delivered without interruption. Those that cannot or do not want to pay for priority delivery, would be relegated to a slower, second tier.

This move has sparked a virulent debate. Telecom operators assert the current system is not economically viable as interests groups ranging from non-profits to small businesses fear their information will be relegated to second-class status if they are unable to pay.



By Eric Olander



2015-10-09 technology

Apps and social networks: What happens to user data?

This week on Tech 24, we explore where our data goes and what it's used for. Didier Rappaport joins us on set to tell us about his geo-localized dating app Happn, and what the...

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2015-10-02 education

Taking a closer look at technology in the classroom

This week on Tech 24, we discuss IT in education, as UNESCO celebrates World Teacher's Day and France pledges to boost the presence of technology in the classroom. Our report...

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2015-09-25 auto industry

The advantages and pitfalls of connected cars

Volkswagon stunned the world with its special software to detect testing - and provide lower emissions results on its diesel cars. But it's not the only manufacturer making...

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2015-09-18 Social Media

The dangers of addiction to social media

Depressed? Anxious? Insomniac? Social media may be to blame. This week's Tech 24 warns against the dangers - both mental and physical - of being constantly connected. In the test...

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2015-09-11 Israel

Start-up Nation: Israel leads in tech innovation

It's dubbed the Start-up Nation. Israel is the world's biggest investor in R&D, and its tech sector is flourishing. We report on the development from Tel Aviv. Then, we move to...

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