EU: No to Net Neutrality laws

Neelie Kroes the European Commission’s Vice president for the Digital Agenda says the EU won’t pass laws for net neutrality. Speaking at a Net Neutrality Summit in Brussels, Kroes said: “In general, providers have upheld the principle of open access and end users may access most of the applications and services of their choice.”

She said the EU should “avoid regulation which might deter investment and an efficient use of the available resources. That would be cutting off our nose to spite our face… Nearly everyone agrees that traffic management is essential, not only to optimise the provision of “best effort services” on the open Internet, but also to allow the development of special managed services, such as eLearning or eHealth applications, which are very valuable for European society. It is clear, however, that traffic management should be used properly, in order to increase the quality of Internet services, preserve network integrity and open the way to new investments in efficient networks. It should not become simply a means of exploiting current network constraints.”

The Commissioner believes the EU’s 2009 Telecoms Framework gives regulators in the Member States sufficient “important tools” to “protect the openness of the Internet.” She stated that Member States must also be given enough time to implement the provisions of the Framework that were designed to promote “both network and service competition” and make it much easier for subscribers to move to other service providers whenever they want to. “We should not underestimate this element. A healthy competitive environment allows tackling many potential problems at their root, avoiding the emergence of monopolistic gatekeepers which could create serious dangers for net neutrality.”

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