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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Dutch net neutrality to become law next Tuesday

The Netherlands will vote in a new net neutrality law next Tuesday, with a huge outcry against an ex-KPN (ex-monopoly) lobbyist who tried to spike the bill. It will receive a formal approval next Tuesday and I hope to have translated details which must be notified to the EC. But there are a few details to explain first:

◦ Dutch minister of economic affairs Maxime Verhoeven (Independent Party D66) has amended the regulations ruling net neutrality in order to accommodate objections from other government members. In particular, providers will be allowed to filter content. This amendment was put forth in order to garner the support of Dutch Reformed Protestant Party SGP;
◦ Afke Schaart (Liberal Party VVD) withdrew her amendment after it did not gather much support (HA!);.
◦ Martijn van Dam (PvdA) wants OPTA to have the tools to regulate providers of programme services, that is: cable companies.
This will entail amendments to the Telecommunications and Media Act, as follows:
◦ Van Dam wants minimum download speeds. Target: 100 Mbps in 2015;
◦ Van Dam, Bruno Braakhuis (GroenLinks) and Verhoeven want to make sure that consumers cannot be cut off from the internet.
Verhagen said he wanted to research the last point. He tried to discourage the other points such as minimum download speeds but left other points to Parliament.

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