Document Actions

EU telecoms nominee stands up for net neutrality

Reuters - Telecoms operators should not be allowed to strike lucrative deals with bandwidth-hungry content providers such as Netflix and Google to provide them with quicker Internet access, the incoming EU telecoms commissioner said on Monday.

Net neutrality, the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally, has emerged as the main sticking point in discussions on a legislative package to overhaul Europe's ailing telecoms sector, which Germany's Guenther Oettinger will inherit from his predecessor Neelie Kroes.

"Net neutrality is a common interest for all users and for all citizens, and additionally in the public interest - emergency cases and so on - there may be an exemption, but not for businesses, not for business cases, therefore we need neutrality for all users," Oettinger said.

The European Parliament voted in April for strict rules preventing internet service providers from blocking or throttling content to manage the traffic on their networks.

But telecoms operators say that charging for different speeds and services would help them invest in upgrading their networks, an area where Europe lags the United States and Asia.