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back to article European Commission plans net neutrality push

The European Commission (EC) has proposed to enshrine net neutrality in its statute books, with President José Manuel Durão Barroso signalling his intention to adopt the “connected continent” agenda proposed by commissioner for the Digital Agenda and veep Neelie Kroes. Barrosso yesterday delivered the European Union's State of …

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Now this is an enlightened commitment.

I'm sure there will be some who don't like the idea.

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Finally something good and common sense to come out of Europe. He won't last long all the old fuddy duddies and people taking backhanders from big companies will soon kick him out.

Still, we all know all the phone companies will just put the normal contract prices up and reduce the amount of data you can consume. They aren't going to give the cash cow up that easily.

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@HollyHopDrive

Who won't last long, exactly? Barroso? No, his term won't be renewed and a good thing to as he has been a very poor president of the European Commission. Neelie Kroes is continuing both her own relatively good work as Trade Commissioner before she moved to the current brief, and her predecessor's Viviane Reding who gave us the roaming caps.

The Commission continues to do a lot for pretty much everyone by rolling back subsidies (Olympic, Alitalia and more recently Renault), protecting consumer rights (even against arseholes like O'Leary) and making cross-border trade easier. But that's all boring stuff that doesn't make good headlines like: "Brussels wants all cows to be the same colour."

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"I'm sure there will be some who don't like the idea."

I most certainly don't. Partly because I don't do sufficient roaming to care (and there's a plan already working that is forcing roaming costs down), but mainly because the enthusiasts have missed the sting in the tail: new services will only be allowed if they don't interfere with "normal internet activity". Note that for brain dead euroregulators, "cloud" computing is included as an example of a new service, indeed IPTV has been with us for a few years now. If you want some overpaid, underworked political appointee in Brussels to decide what you're allowed to do with the web, to avoid supposedly inconveniencing the "normal" internet use of downloading torrents and p0rn, then you're welcome. In practice this will put evolution of the internet in treacle, and ten years hence Europeans will be whining that the Americans AND the Asians are so far ahead of Europe, and isn't it unfair that they have richer and more robust economies.

OFCOM's bad enough. Adding some further layer of state and superstate bureaucracy to the mix isn't going to make things either better or cheaper. And if you think that a European regulator will prefer the interests of consumers over the lobbying of industry, then you must have been asleep for the past sixty years.

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Here on the small island ....

Can 'our' UK government exercise any kind of opt-out on this. I'm sure the big players like Vodafone and VM would be look unfavourably on all this.

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Re: Here on the small island ....

Vodafone might put up some resistance, probably for some very spurious reasons, but VM are a virtual operator (like Tesco, TalkTalk, GiffGaff, et al) and so may well welcome this.

IIRC, VM did use the T-Mobile network and are now be benefiting from the greater coverage as a result of the merger that created EE. They would presumably be able to benefit further from roaming charges being dropped.

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Re: Here on the small island ....

They're getting the end of net neutrality in return, they're not that upset.

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Re: Here on the small island ....

I hope not.

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Joke

So, what did the EU ever do for us?

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Thanks for the EC press release, but....

any chance you could give us an article that is based on research?

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So, does this mean ....

That BT, Sky, Entanet and friends will be forced to remove their NNTP traffic blocks? If so, my hat's off to Steelie Nellie.

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Of course it isn't explained

"Just how cheaper calls and an open internet trickle down into a more innovative business sector (startups are anticipated as the engine of growth) isn't explained."

That's because startups don't have a chance of growing any more. If they do get noticed, they are either bought or, if the startup is stubborn, lawsuited out of business with predatory patent accusations.

There will be no startup on the european-wide telco business, I can guarantee that.

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Re: Of course it isn't explained

Actually, both Finland and Sweden demonstrate the importance of both in driving their own, different tech business clusters: cheap communications are very important in high-wage economies.

As for no startups in the telco market I suspect it may depend upon your definition but I think the plans to encourage wholesale and simplify market entry will favour expansion of companies like Iliad, which has successfully disrupted the French telco market. Communications are extremely fungible which should encourage new entrants to the market.

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Anonymous Coward

Vodaphone cut roaming costs temporarily with their summer roaming promotion in 2009. Writing has been on wall ever since.

Would prefer no roaming charge for data. I can always use a VOIP app for voice and text.

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Pint

Kudos !

Every so often - admittedly rarely - the European Commission does do something that actually benefits us European consumers. This is a case in point....

Henri

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