19 April – Commenting on today’s publication of the European Commission’s communication on net neutrality, the Internet Society heartily endorses its continued emphasis on the importance of the open Internet.
It is this open nature of the “network of networks” that has enabled the Internet to be enjoyed and shaped by increasingly diverse players, from users to network managers to those whose economic competitive edge depends upon it.
When considering how to safeguard Internet neutrality, policy-makers should therefore focus on preserving the open, user-centric Internet model that has been so successful to date.
“We welcome the vow by EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes today ‘to ensure that citizens and business in the EU can enjoy the benefits of an open and neutral Internet, without hidden restrictions and at the speeds promised by their service providers’,” said Frederic Donck, director of the Internet Society’s European regional bureau.
“We are also pleased to hear the commissioner uphold the rules of competition as being ‘at the core of the new enhanced telecom rules on transparency, quality of service and the ability to easily switch operators’,” Mr Donck said.
“Openness underpins and enables user access, choice, and transparency. These principles are so critical to the success of the Internet that they must be part of present and future policy for the Internet. So, while competition is vital to the open Internet, it must go hand-in-hand with equal commitment to transparency and access,” Mr Donck said.
The Internet Society believes that one of the most important criteria for defining real and effective competition is transparency in service offerings so that users have a choice of Internet service providers and are able to make their informed decisions regarding choice.
Nonetheless, the Internet Society would like to remind the European Commission that it has much work still to do in this area and will need to keep monitoring the situation closely.
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