Report expected to go against net neutrality

13 July 2011 | Kavit Majithia


A report due for release today drawn up by chief executives at Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom and Vivendi will respond to the European Commission’s fears regarding the state of broadband in Europe.

The European Commission has expressed a concern that, due to a lack of investment by the region’s telecoms operators, EU targets to improve broadband speeds will not be achieved. The report is expected to convey the need for European operators to develop separate business models and allow operators to charge online content providers to deliver high-bandwidth applications on a telecom operated network.

By outlining this, the companies in question will openly go against net neutrality, and European telecoms operators have collectively stated they must find new sources of revenue to develop high-speed broadband networks, based on fibre-optic cables.

Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute, which operates a large next-generation network in Europe, believes that with the amount of investment required to keep up with consumer demand the issue cannot be ignored, and network infrastructure must evolve to meet these demands. “Content providers use vast amounts of capacity to deliver their content to consumers and they have a right to make money from the service they distribute,” he said. “The success of the internet is in large part due to this content distribution. Yet why should this right to make money from the services they provide be closed off to those that deliver the infrastructure behind the internet, which enables that very content to be distributed.”

After a meeting in March between 40 companies related to the telecoms industry in Europe, Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for telecoms wanted Alcatel-Lucent, Vivendi and Deutsche Telekom to outline ways the European broadband market could be improved. Kroes’ ultimate goal is for broadband, with access speeds of 100Mbps, to reach over half the homes in Europe by 2020.