Consumer Panel: Two-tier would harm access

Online access to public services could be put at risk by a purely market-driven approach to net neutrality, claims the Communications Consumer Panel in its response to consultations from Ofcom and the European Commission.

If content providers have to pay ISPs for guaranteed bandwidth “This would improve the quality of service for consumers who want to use these services” says Anna Bradley, Chair of the Communications Consumer Panel. “The danger is that it could result in a two-tier Internet, with content from companies who are prepared to pay ISPs for preferential treatment delivering a significantly better user experience. In this scenario, public services could suffer from being in the shadows of more appealing commercial services. This might not be an issue now, but we are seeing the development of exciting new e-health services that could have widespread benefits.”

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