European Commissioner Kroes Hints At Actions To Preserve Open Internet

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Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, today gave some hints about upcoming regulations intended to ensure competition in cross-border European internet.

“If we don’t address net neutrality, wider problems will arise and tomorrow’s innovative services might have to stop at the border. I don’t want to see that happen. And I will soon be putting forward proposals to ensure it doesn’t – and I know you are keen to learn the details,” Kroes said in a speech to the European Parliament, entitled “Guaranteeing Competition and the Open Internet in Europe, European Parliament.”

An open platform, she said, “is built on competition, innovation transparency, and choice. And that is what our proposal will be built on too.”

On competition, she said anyone should be able to offer additional services and charge for them, on a principle of an “best efforts” internet. This might suggest a tiered internet in which people who can pay more, get better service.

On transparency, she said consumers should be able to know beforehand all of the details of the service they will get.

And on choice, she said consumers need to be “back in the driver’s seat.” In practice, she said, “there are many barriers to switching: like excessive charges, modem hire, or email addresses. We will be looking at those barriers, and removing them.”


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