ISPs that block or throttle consumers’ access to third-party services may soon be on their way out under the European Commission’s latest endeavour to curb such practices.
Commission VP Neelie Kroes is putting together plans to mandate net neutrality across Europe, a practice that thus far is only available in the Netherlands and Slovenia. Kroes called for greater freedom and transparency in Internet, mobile and broadband services, and stressed the need for competition to facilitate innovation.
The new mandate would curb practices that prevent users from taking advantage of services such as Skype, WhatsApp or Viber, in an attempt to thwart competition.
“The 2011 study by European regulators (through BEREC) showed that, for many Europeans, online services are blocked or degraded – often without their knowledge. For around one in five fixed lines, and over one in three mobile users,” Kroes stated in a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels. “It’s clear to me that many Europeans expect protection against such commercial tactics. And that is exactly the EU safeguard we will be providing. A safeguard for every European, on every device, on every network.”
Authors: Nina Michael