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EU Kills Net Neutrality, Threatens Online Openness

ComputerWorldUK - Glyn Moody - I've been trying to fathom what exactly Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission with responsibility for the Digital Agenda, intends to do about net neutrality in Europe for a while. Back in January of this year, I asked: "Will Neelie Kroes Defend or Destroy EU Net Neutrality?", and in June I was still wondering: "What's the Net Net on Neelie Kroes's EU Net Neutrality?"

Well, it looks like we finally know, thanks to blog post she wrote last week, entitled "Safeguarding the open internet for all." It begins well:

Huge innovation can be found online: we must safeguard it for everyone. Currently too many Europeans find that services are blocked and throttled by their internet provider. I believe every European should have access to the full and open internet, absolutely guaranteed, without such discrimination. And so I am coming forward with new rules to bring such practices to an end once and for all.

And I know consumers are fed up with being treated badly. Fed up with their operator retrospectively and untransparently changing their terms and conditions. And fed up with contracts that don’t tell you what speed and quality you’ll actually get. In a competitive, transparent market, consumers should know what they’re getting and should be able to vote with their feet.

This rightly identifies that net neutrality is all about allowing innovation. But thereafter, things go quickly off the rails: