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EU & Net Neutrality

By 13 November 2010 2 Comments

And what free market conservative said the following?

“We should allow network operators and services and content providers to explore innovative business models,” ___ said at a meeting on net neutrality held by the European Commission and Parliament.

She said countries should avoid rules that deter companies from investing in their networks.

And the answer is — Neelie Kroes, commissioner for digital issues in the EU, who is better known as the bete noir of big U.S. companies such as Microsoft and Intel.

However, the devil is in the details, and it is not clear how her concern will work out in practice, since EU legislation slated for May “will require national regulators to define ‘reasonable’ network management practices,” says the NYT. It also contains specific provisions about blocking access, disclosure of management practices, and minimum levels of service, all of which sound a lot like many of the provisions that parade under the Net Neutrality banner in the U.S.

Despite Kroes’ verbal support for integrated business models, this has simply not been the EU regulators’ track record in other contexts, so perhaps a period of probation is required before she is granted full membership in the fellowship of the free market.

Images from European Parliament