Communications minister Ed Vaizey has clarified earlier comments made about net neutrality, explaining that he would support legislation designed to keep the internet open.
Vaizey said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that the comments in his Open Internet speech had been taken out of context, and that rather than choose not to regulate, the government will act when necessary.
He told the paper that his overriding priority is "an open internet where consumers have access to all legal content". He added that if this changed and that consumer interests were at risk, "we would seek to intervene".
"We are not saying that one ISP should be able to prioritise one provider's content over another, and I don't support the commercial decision to downgrade a rival's site," he added.
"The marker I wanted to put down is that, at the moment, I don't think heavy handed regulation is necessary. I'm saying we're not going to put regulatory hurdles in the way."
Comments from the minister last week seemed to imply that he supports the sort of tiered internet that has caused controversy in the US.
Vaizey said that the government would only use a "light touch" when intervening in cases where an ISP has prioritised certain content.
"The internet has been responsible for an unprecedented level of innovation. This is a model that the British government wishes to protect. A lightly regulated internet is good for business, good for the economy and good for people," he said.
"The government is no fan of regulation and we should intervene only when it is clearly necessary to deliver important benefits for consumers."
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