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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Danger: Policy Transfer in Action Part 2

UPDATE 2: 36 hours later, my comment appeared on the AT&T blog - thanks! I suspect no-one was reading by then but still...
I wrote a letter yesterday to the NYTimes explaining that their op-ed was rather misleading
Full disclosure, here it is:
Sent: 21 April 2010 17:47
Subject: Re Op-Ed 20 April: Europe has passed new network neutrality legislation

Dear sir
I read with interest your guest op-ed 'How to Regulate the Internet Tap' April 20, 2010.
These eminent economists draw useful lessons in trying to achieve transparency and consumer information. However, they miss the essential regulatory message.
Europe's ISPs are now subject to new laws (Directives EC/2009/136 and EC/2009/140) that enforce transparency, force them to inform consumers and prevent their blocking Voice over Internet Protocol.
Your 'take-away' from the European experience should be that legislation at federal level backed by rigorous federal level oversight of state law enforcement is required to cope with ISP discriminatory and obfuscatory activities, even in the more competitive European market.
That this is to be achieved by what we in Europe call 'co-regulation' does not hide the hard law and harder regulatory will to enforce these measures in the consumer's best interest.
Christopher T. Marsden
Senior Lecturer in Communications Law
University of Essex

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