EU Rules Says No to Net Neutrality Rules

April 19, 2011 -

The European Commission has decided that it will not pass legislation that makes Net Neutrality principles a matter of law. Instead they said that they would rely on existing law, media coverage outing unfair practices by the telecommunications industry and consumer complaints.

"I am determined to ensure that citizens and businesses in the EU can enjoy the benefits of an open and neutral internet, without hidden restrictions and at the speeds promised by their service providers," said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda. "I am a firm believer in the principles of competition, which are at the core of the new enhanced telecom rules on transparency, quality of service and the ability to easily switch operators."

The EU report said that there was a general consensus that traffic management is necessary to ensure the smooth flow of Internet traffic. The Commission said it and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) would continue to monitor the sector and publish a year-end report.

"[If the report's] findings and other feedback indicate outstanding problems, the Commission will assess the need for more stringent measures."

Consumer advocates railed against the decision.

"Ms. Kroes is hiding behind false free-market arguments to do nothing at all," said Jeremie Zimmerman, a spokesman for French digital civil liberties group La Quadrature du Net.

Source: DigitalMediaWire


Comments

Re: EU Rules Says No to Net Neutrality Rules

Wow.  It's a common-sense approach, without a complete knee-jerk reaction.  In Europe, of all places.

What I don't quite understand is why this approach is being taken in the EU, and not in the United States, considering the problems that prompted the idea of the FCC trying to reclassify it's own mandate were happening far more often in EU countries than in the United States.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: EU Rules Says No to Net Neutrality Rules

The EU has actual competition in the broadband market.

Re: EU Rules Says No to Net Neutrality Rules

True, but that doesn't address my underlying point - even WITH competition, most of the problems that make people cry for NN (such as throttling down of connections for nothing more than heavy use) are much more commonplace in the EU than the US, yet the EU is taking a much more common-sense approach to NN.

I find that kind of mind-boggling.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: EU Rules Says No to Net Neutrality Rules

As was said, the competitive landscape is different.... depending on the region, consumers can either (a) go to another provider or (b) the local provider is government owned anyway.

In general the US has neither, so our situation is different.   Yes there are abuses the the EU, but people can actually DO something about them.  Here.. when Comcast decides it doesn't want Netflix to compete with its own services and degrades one's ability to use Netflix streaming, the chances of having a viable alternative are pretty low.

Granted, those 'government monopoly' ISPs are another reason NN got shot down in the EU. Governments are not interested in passing restrictions on themselves, so they lobbied to make sure the rules were not put in place.

 
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