Thursday, July 29, 2010

European Commission launches net neutrality consultation


I'm reporting this rather late, as the EC made their announcement on 30th June, but better late than never, as the saying goes.

The EC have launched a consultation on net neutrality, following on from a speech earlier in the year by Neelie Kroes, about which more in this previous post. The consultation (which runs until 30th September) will feed into a Commission report on net neutrality, which should be presented by the end of this year. This time frame is similar to Ofcom's current consultation on the same subject (details here) which closes on 9th September.

It looks like the objectivity and balance of Kroes' speech has been sustained into the consultation, given what she's quoted as saying in the accompanying press release:
"I am committed to keeping the internet open and neutral. Consumers should be able to access the content they want. Content providers and operators should have the right incentives to keep innovating. But traffic management and net neutrality are highly complex issues. I do not assume that one approach or another should prevail. We need input from all sides so we can examine all the issues carefully, in a very objective way, strike the right balance between all the interests involved and work out what new measures, if any, may be needed."
Similar intentions are set out on her blog. A first read of the consultation document suggests the Commission is asking the right questions, it will be interesting to see how industry and others respond.

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