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Monday, March 14, 2011

Ed Vaizey given a figleaf to face Tim Berners Lee on Wednesday?

There is apparently a 'net neutrality summit' on Wednesday, as reported in the broadsheets but not on the UK Culture Ministry website. Apparently it will have ISPs and content providers, plus BBC and hopefully Skype, as well as Tim Berners Lee who can look on in stupefaction as everyone pretends to agree with him. I have no idea whether any public programme has been produced - so perhaps it should be called a closed-doors meeting.
In advance, it has seen a spin attempt to appear to be doing something by UK consumer ISPs via the Broadband Stakeholders Group, an odd government funded but industry-run creature. This is effectively some consumer ISPs taking seriously their commitments in the 'voluntary' Code Ofcom published in December 2008 as well as those Ofcom signed up to in the new EC rules (Directives 136/2009/EC - especially Article 20 - and 140/2009/EC), which have to be implemented in May. Its worth noting that ISPs have been on the naughty step with Ofcom since March 2010 for failing to provide any credible traffic management information, as they had 'agreed' in December 2008.
It gives Ed Vaizey something to stammer back when Tim BL tells him he's doing nothing to enforce consumer rights on net neutrality. So it's a stitch-up: progress is glacial, and this is only transparency, not actual regulation for non-discrimination.

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