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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Neelie Kroes: public consultation launched 'before summer'

The Commissioner is speaking at French regulator ARCEP, in a joint Franco-American seminar (Profs Wu, Shelanski, Noam, Rick Whitt from Google), speaking in English rather than the host's language. She is saying nothing of great interest, supporting greater transparency but being agnostic on non-discrimination. Euro-debate "still at an early stage". At least she is agreeing that its a very broad debate, wider than simply competition and innovation policy. But one wouldn't expect her to say much at this stage in the European debate. The stream is excellent quality with 3 camera angles, running smoothly - would it if FT throttled streaming video?
UPDATE: official text available.
She does admit that universal service will be affected by net neutrality, and the consultation on Next Generation Access. On transparency: 'Too many consumers currently feel cheated when they get much lower Internet speeds than advertised'. This leads to 'these are not issues up for discussion, but they are clear rules...I will be vigilant to ensure they are correctly transposed and implemented.'
She finally announces that she will have a public consultation launched "before summer" - expect July.
Her analogy to Dutch road networks is interesting - more rules can slow traffic just because of the presence of regulation: 'I'm not a police officer in search of a busy corner'
She makes her first two principles freedom of expression and transparency - 'crystal clear'. But then she goes on to suggest competition may well solve the problem, but that traffic management must be objective and clear or it will be discriminatory. 'Discrimination against VoIP competitors will not be allowed'.
I did not hear her say 'mobile' - anyone?

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