EU probes traffic management

European regulators are launching an investigation into telcos and other providers data traffic management practices. The European Commission says it accepts some traffic management is necessary to avoid congestion on networks but digital agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes, is set to announce the regulatory investigation with a view to establishing new rules to safeguard net neutrality.

Kroes has asked a committee of EU telecoms regulators to investigate operators’ practices, partly because on May 25th new transparency rules on traffic management policies come into force. The Commissioner wants providers to commit to a new era of transparency about how they “throttle” some data traffic or block certain software applications.

In particular Kroes wants to ensure that fixed-line and mobile operators are not slowing down data traffic in an anti-competitive manner. With many telecoms companies selling television and other video services to customers, she is concerned that throttling could be used by one operator to disrupt a competitor’s content.

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