Tuesday, May 29, 2012

European Commission to Act on Net Neutrality

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes is planning to propose action on consumer choice and "net neutrality", saying that while the market generally has functioned well, greater regulatory certainty is needed to ensure that all European consumers have access to the open, best-efforts Internet.

Citing newly released data from BEREC, the body of European network regulators, Kroes said that at least 20%, and potentially up to half of EU mobile broadband users have contracts that allow their Internet service provider (ISP) to restrict services like VOIP (e.g. Skype) or peer-to-peer file sharing. In addition, up to 95% of users in a country, may be served by fixed operators (spread across virtually all EU member states) that apply restrictions such as to limit peer-to-peer volumes at peak times. About 20% of operators engage in this practice.

Kroes plans to issue recommendations to "end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe." This includes requirements that consumers be provided with clear information on actual, real-life broadband speeds; clear information on the limits of what they are paying for (instead dof the vague "fair use" policies currently in place); and clear information on whether the service they are buying is real "Champagne or lesser sparkling wine" -- if it is not full Internet, it shouldn't be marketed as such. 
http://europa.eu http://erg.eu.int/whatsnew/index_en.htm 

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