Once again net neutrality is at the top of the tech agenda as the European Union launches an investigation in ISP’s management traffic on their networks to ensure end users get the best and fairest service
The investigation, due to be published at the end of 2011, will be performed by BEREC, The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications. They will consult with both businesses and consumers for their opinions and experiences to form a picture of how fair ISP’s services really are.
At present ISPs are not subject to any legislation that directly enforces the principles behind net neutrality, the idea that all traffic on the internet is treated the same and does not get shaped or constrained. However Neelie Kroes, the EU’s commissioner for the digital agenda said:
“I am absolutely determined that everyone in the EU should have the chance to enjoy the benefits of an open and lawful internet, without hidden restrictions or slower speeds than they have been promised.”
The commissioner also remarked that it “was widely accepted” that some bandwidth heavy services would be required to slow down to ensure that other users to do not suffer by being squeezed down.
Ed Vaizey the UK government’s Communications Minister has tasked the web’s creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee to help ISPs and communications providers to preserve an open internet. He stated that, “If it fails, the government has to be absolutely ready to legislate”.
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(Image by Rock Cohen)