Digital Agenda: Commission opens public consultation on preservation of the open internet (net neutrality)

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The European Commission is today launching a public consultation seeking answers to questions on transparency, switching and certain aspects of internet traffic management, with a view to its commitment to preserve the open and neutral character of the Internet.

These questions have emerged as key issues in the “net neutrality” debate that has taken place in Europe over the past years, including the recent findings of the Body of European Regulators of European Communications (BEREC).

Input is sought from all interested public and private parties, including fixed and mobile internet service providers, Internet content and application providers (including comparison websites), equipment manufacturers, transit providers, investors, public authorities, consumers and their associations. The responses to this consultation will be crucial input for the Commission’s planned recommendations announced by European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes on 29 May 2012.

Neelie Kroes said: “Today there is a lack of effective consumer choice when it comes to internet offers. I will use this consultation to help prepare recommendations that will generate more real choices and end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe. Input from this consultation will help turn BEREC’s findings into practical recommendations.”

In particular the Commission seeks views on:

  • internet traffic management, including congestion management, managed services and privacy issues;
  • transparency, in particular regarding the actual internet performance (speed and quality) and restrictions of internet access products;
  • the possibility for consumers to switch operators and
  • internet interconnection issues between network operators.

The consultation document and additional information are available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/actions/oit-consultation/index_en.htm

Responses to the public consultation should be sent before 15 October 2012. Here to read more.

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