The EC policy against net neutrality appears to have hardened, after the Commissioner met 35 CEOs from ISPs and content providers on Wednesday. It is good that she has shared the conclusions and guest list so quickly. In short, the group was guided by router-throttler Alcatel-Lucent under ex-BT CEO Ben Verwaayen, Deutsche Telekom and 'civil Internet' freaks Vivendi (who successfully polarised the OECD High level meeting 2 weeks ago by frothing about piracy). It was almost entirely ISPs, box-makers and exclusive pay-TV operators. Here's the highlights from the EC press release:
"players at different levels of the Internet value chain should be free to reach commercial agreements to innovate and develop new business models. The best way to deal with any perceived imbalance is through commercial negotiations. If there is a need to introduce safeguards and legal certainty to ensure these negotiations are fair, the Commission will study the issue carefully once BEREC finalises its thorough analysis of the situation by the end of this year. The Commission accepts the industry's offer to take self-regulatory initiatives to ensure transparency on the characteristics and performance of broadband offers to European consumers."
It's over - unless you live in the Netherlands.