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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

EC compromise jettisons net neutrality

Well, what did you expect? The EC has a quasi-regulator with a quasi-veto (or "binding recommendation", lawyers will enjoy that wording!), quasi-broadband universal service but UK wording on net neutrality, it seems. The Commissioner got most of what she wanted.

I like the Svensson amendment which it seems has failed:

Amendment 135 +++

1. Member States shall ensure that national regulatory authorities are, after taking account of the views of interested parties, able to require undertakings that provide publicly available electronic communications networks and/or services to publish equivalent, adequate and up-todate information for end-users on the quality of their services and measures taken to ensure comparable access for disabled end-users and to disclose traffic management policies. That information shall, on request,be supplied to the national regulatory authority in advance of its publication. 
Member States shall ensure that national regulatory authorities are able to take appropriate measures in cases where operators fail to disclose their traffic management policies or where the traffic management policy does not respect the rights of users to access the content, applications and services of their choice. National regulatory authorities shall additionally ensure that there is a facility in place by which users can monitor and identify any problems created by traffic management policies in cases where disputes may arise.

Abuse of process as MEPs didn't know what they were voting on? Well, yes, but that's not unusual - in any case, the devil is in the detail as we will see in the EP vote on agreed texts on 22 April.

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