Netherlands Passes Net Neutrality Law
6/23/2011 by: Theo Valich
In a move that could shift the whole European Union, the lower house of Dutch Parliament passed a net neutrality law, legislation that prevents mobile operators from setting Internet access limitations.
Net Neutrality is a hotly debated and heavily lobbied topic which effectively puts the whole Internet as a unique set of services and bans Internet Service Providers from limiting the access to that set of services. In the US, practically there are no operators that are lobbying for net neutrality (cable, mobile), prompting cities to break the monopoly and solve the broadband access on their own, just like Chattanooga, TN did with their 1Gbps link per household.
In Europe, cable and DSL operators are battling for every consumer and the major opponents of net neutrality came from the line of mobile operators, who are faced with tremendous growth of mobile users and are having issues with keeping the infrastructure in check.
In Netherlands, the lower house of Dutch Parliament decided against the lobbyists and passed a new law which blocks mobile operators from preventing access or charging for VOIP (remember T-Mobile Germany blocking Skype?) and instant messaging services.
Passing the bill through Dutch Senate is expected before the summer break and is considered a formality, after which 26 remaining countries in the EU will have a good legal precedent to pass their own net neutrality bills.
It will be interesting to see what will happen in France, United Kingdom and Germany, all heavily influenced by the mobile industry.
Netherlands, Holland, Dutch, Dutch Parliament, Net Neutrality, FTC, Mobile Operator, Mobile Operators, Skype, WhatsApp, MSN Messenger, GTalk, European Union, EU, European Commission
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