The European Commission has announced it is undergoing a public consultation that aims to look into the “aspects of transparency, traffic management,” with a view to keeping the internet free, and open.
Net neutrality is a big issue for campaigners of internet freedom, since it prevents ISPs and other organisations from favouring certain traffic over others. The worry with such a thing is that it would allow companies to purchase favourable treatment from ISPs, thereby leading to sponsored content becoming more easily accessible online than free content – making the internet far less open a platform.
However there are already some restrictions in play, mostly with regards to Peer to Peer traffic. Following on from a 2011 EU resolution that net neutrality should be adopted across the board, a traffic management survey from the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has found that over 20 per cent of all EU web users have a contract that allows their ISP to throttle certain traffic, including P2P and VOIP.
Vice president of the European Commission Neelie Kroes said (via Wired) when speaking of the consultation: “Today there is a lack of effective consumer choice when it comes to internet offers. I will use this consultation to help prepare recommendations that will generate more real choices and end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe. Input from this consultation will help turn Berec’s findings into practical recommendations.”
As part of the public consultation, European citizens as well as companies have the right to make their voices heard on the subject of an open internet. To do so, you can fill out the form here.
KitGuru Says: It’s good that their is a place where the public can let these groups know what they want from the internet. It’s just a shame that the form is quite long, meaning many are unlikely to finish it.