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Facebook to negotiate with telecom providers over 'data traffic costs'

2018/01/10 19:59

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SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- Facebook Inc. is willing to negotiate with South Korea's telecommunications providers over sharing the cost of maintaining the speed of its data traffic services, the company's vice president said Wednesday.

Since 2016, the U.S. social networking giant has been in dispute with SK Broadband Co. and LG Uplus after refusing to pay for a cache server that is used to save online content in temporary storage, called a cache. Facebook currently only pays KT Corp. to use its cache server.

Since the dispute, SK Broadband subscribers have complained of experiencing a slowdown in their Facebook connection on both smartphones and computers, as well as its photo-sharing app Instagram.

According to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), Kevin Martin, who is also responsible for the company's mobile and global access policy, said that Facebook is well aware of the current dispute and respects South Korean authorities' request that Facebook resolve the data traffic cost dispute.

The remarks were made during a meeting between the vice president and Lee Hyo-seong, the chairman of the KCC.

Martin further said Facebook will continue to negotiate with the local telecom companies on the issue so that it can provide optimal services to South Korean users.

The telecommunications providers have argued that Facebook should share the cost to maintain the heavy data traffic generated by their operations.

Earlier in the day, Kim Yong-soo, vice-minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, also suggested to Martin that Facebook needs to resolve the cost issue in accordance with the country's policy.

khj@yna.co.kr

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