The chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) has claimed that the UK is one of the leading voices on the net neutrality debate.
Pamela Learmonth told V3 the coming together of ISPs and content providers to create codes of practices on key issues around internet access places the UK ahead of its European neighbours, where discussions are only just starting to take place.
"The signing of the code today is a positive signal on how the UK is handling these issues. Few member states are at this stage and we're certainly one of the leaders in Europe," she said.
Learmouth said that this progressive stance was not only beneficial for ensuring end-users have a better experience with their services but also keeps the threat of heavy-handed legislation off the table.
"Being so proactive and forging ahead with this approach is far more suitable for the industry as in such a fast-moving market where relationships between firms are complex trying to deal with issue using regulation can have unintended outcomes," she said.
"Legislation can cause difficulties as it's open to interpretation but a code of practice is practical and written in plain English that people can understand, while it can always be reviewed and amended as appropriate."
Learmouth also noted that although some firms have decided not to sign-up to the code, chiefly Vodafone, Virgin Media and Everything Everywhere, it remains a voluntary code and the firms will remain involved in future discussions and could join in future.
Another important aspect of the code that Learmouth was keen to promote is that service providers will now provide a dedicated point of contact for media providers - the likes of Spotify or Skype for example - to contact if their services are suffering on the networks.
"There's not been cases of content providers saying their services have been degraded by ISPs but it's about being able to communicate if there are issues, mostly likely technical, that affect their services," she said.
"The whole code is about helping people discuss issues and consider future developments that could be important so we can safeguard the internet and the networks behind it."
The BSG will hold future meetings on the codes in place in the future in response to forthcoming proposals from Ofcom and European Commission around traffic management and net neutrality guidelines, Learmouth added.
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