Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The EU Takes its time with Net Neutrality: It is Important, but Let's Monitor and Study First

The EU's TRANSPORT, TELECOMMUNICATIONS and ENERGY Council published a document summarizing its current work and consolations on Open Internet (Net Neutrality). Not for the first time (here), the EU does not see an urgent need to do something, despite the concerns presented.
Among other things, the council says that:
  • It recognizes the "The importance of preserving the open character of the Internet" and "The need to encourage investment in new network infrastructures by both the public and private sector"
  • It notes the "The existence of some concerns, in regards to Discriminatory forms of traffic management and treatment of data, in particular throttling of data and blocking of content, applications and services", "Price transparency and quality of service, in particular the discrepancy between advertised and actual delivery speeds for an Internet connection"  and "Network congestion, mainly as a result of growing data streams"
  • It underlines the "The importance of ensuring efficient transparency" [here] and "The importance of addressing the issues of discrimination and degradation of service that may arise from certain traffic management practices"
  • And it invites the Commission to "Monitor, jointly with BEREC, the issue of traffic management to allow for a smooth flow of proportional, necessary and transparent traffic management practices that do not affect net neutrality" and "Continue studying, with the support of BEREC's investigations, any aspects of net neutrality where significant and persistent problems are substantiated, including charges and conditions that mobile operators impose on VoIP users as well as throttling of content, applications and services"
See "Council conclusions on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe" - here.

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