EU proposes internet equality

05 June 2013 |


The European Commission is looking to introduce net-neutrality laws to remove internet restrictions for value add companies such as Skype and Google.

Proposals suggested yesterday aim to prevent the blocking of free chat apps, like WhatsApp and Skype, by operators offering rival services.

Neelie Kroes, EU commissioner for telecoms, explained that some ISP’s deliberately degrade such services in a bid to eradicate the competition.

“The commission is 100% committed to the open internet,” Kroes told the Financial Times.

“Anti-competitive blocking needs to end. I think it’s unsustainable and on the way out, but I am willing to push it out.”

The net-neutrality laws, which are part of a larger digital agenda that Kroes is aiming to implement, would mean ISPs could offer faster speeds, but would not be able to block services from their competitors.

Slovenia and the Netherlands are the only countries in the EU offering such net neutrality regulations, and both have come up against opposition from other European regulators in doing so.

Luigi Gambardella, chairman of European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, does not believe internet equality regulation is the way forward.

He claimed that the Citizen’s Rights Directive already had net neutrality safeguards in place, but did agree that anti-competitive blocks should not be endorsed.

Last week Kroes outlined plans to remove voice and data roaming fees across Europe, and in April this year, announced an acceleration in the Connecting Europe Facility(CEF)’s efforts for a single telecoms market.