Wednesday, June 5, 2013

EU: Traffic Management, Pay for QoS - are all fine!

The Internet is a best-effort based system, unless you pay extra. That's within the definition of an open and neutral network, as long as it is transparent and competitive, says Neelie Kroes (pictured), Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda.

"The fact is, the online data explosion means networks are getting congested. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) need to invest in network capacity to meet rising demand: and the right predictable regulatory framework will help them do so. But, at peak times, traffic management will continue to play a role (see "What does the EU Want to Know about Traffic Management?" - here).

.. and indeed it can be for legitimate and objective reasons; like separating time-critical traffic from the less urgent .. Many ISPs already do manage traffic in that way, avoiding congestion and ensuring quality. Likewise, many ISPs protect their customers from spam – something which has made a real positive difference, which I'd say most users find helpful, and are happy with".

"An open platform is built on competition, innovation transparency, and choice
  • For example, if you've just bought a videoconferencing system, you'll probably also want an internet service that guarantees the right quality, end-to-end. If someone wants to pay extra for that, no EU rules should stand in their way; it's not my job to ban people from buying those services, nor to prevent people providing them. If you don't want to buy them that is also fine, and you should absolutely continue to benefit from the "best efforts internet".
  • We must ensure transparency. Before you sign up to an internet contract, you want to know key details (see "EU: Net Neutrality is about Transparency; Favor of Parental Control" - here)
  • People need choice in their internet services. A real choice, not a theoretical one. If they want to switch providers, they should be able to do so, without countless obstructions" (see "EU Tells Telcos to Wake-up!" - here)
  • Innovation also needs competition. Services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or messaging services – like Skype or WhatsApp – offer real innovation for consumers. But some ISPs deliberately degrade those services, or block them outright, simply to avoid the competition (see "EU: "It's not OK for Skype and other such services to be throttled" - here)
See "The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all" - here.

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