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European Commission to consult on net neutrality plans

23 Jul 2012
European commission

The European Commission (EC) is to consult with citizens over its approach to net neutrality, poling opinions on whether internet service providers (ISPs) should be able to throttle some traffic.

The EC has been inching towards rules which will force internet service providers and mobile operators to be more open about their traffic management policies.

It is now seeking views from the public and the technology industry about the best approach.

“I will use this consultation to help prepare recommendations that will generate more real choices and end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe,” said EC vice president Neelie Kroes.

Earlier this year, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) laid out its thinking on net neutrality.

It said it wanted to force service providers to inform their users about the actual broadband speeds they could expect to get, to be explicit about data caps and to be up front about network management, such as the throttling of VOIP services at peak times.

Interested parties have until 15 October to submit their thoughts.

Elsewhere, the EC has also opened a consultation programme on plans to introduce mandatory reporting of cyber breaches for critical infrastructure.

According to the World Economic Forum, there is a 10 per cent risk of a major cyber incident causing more than $250bn in economic damages in the next decade.

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