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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Commission declaration on net neutrality - the best that can be expected

Interesting analysis by Monica Horten of the Commission's new proposed Declaration on Net Neutrality - which is weak as she says, but as much as the Council of Ministers (i.e. national regulators) are willing to countenance, basically reiterating its net neutrality 'lite' approach that I have written about elsewhere:
The Commission attaches high importance to preserving the open and neutral character of the Internet, taking full account of the will of the co-legislators now to enshrine net neutrality as a policy objective and regulatory principle to be promoted by national regulatory authorities, alongside the strengthening of related transparency requirements and the creation of safeguard powers for national regulatory authorities to prevent the degradation of services and the hindering or slowing down of traffic over public networks. The Commission will monitor closely the implementation of these provisions in the Member States, introducing a particular focus on how the "net freedoms" of European citizens are being safeguarded in its annual Progress Report to the European Parliament and the Council. In the meantime, the Commission will monitor the impact of market and technological developments on "net freedoms" reporting to the European Parliament and Council before [the end of 2010/ the end of October 2010]on whether additional guidance is required, and will invoke its existing competition law powers to deal with any anti-competitive practices that may emerge."

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