ISPs split over UK open Internet code of practice
July 25, 2012
Several UK Internet service providers have refused to sign a code of conduct designed to guarantee “full and open access” to the net.
Ten ISPs including BT, O2 and TalkTalk backed the agreement, promising not to restrict or block content unless there was a reason to deploy “reasonable traffic management practices”.
But Virgin Media said the principles set out were too vague while Vodafone said the code was “impractical”. Everything Everywhere also opted out.
The Open Internet Code of Practice builds on an earlier traffic management agreement – which the three hold-outs did agree to – adding three new commitments:
– ISPs promise open and full access to the net across their range of products.
– Firms cannot market a subscription package as including “Internet access” if certain kinds of legal content or services are barred.
– Members must not target and degrade content or applications offered by a specific rival.
Exceptions to the rule include sites or services blocked by a court order; the need to manage congestion on the network if too many people are using data-hungry services at once; the imposition of data caps that are part of a user’s contract; and the use of parental blocks deployed to keep children safe.