Cable Europe Urges Caution on Net Neutrality Guidelines

Cable Europe, a group that represents MSOs in the region, said European regulators should proceed with caution following the issuance of network neutrality guidelines for member countries.

The guidelines, from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), provide National Regulatory Authorities direction in implementing the net neutrality regulations. Those guidelines, similar in respect to the FCC’s version of its rules,  call for no blocking or throttling of online content, applications and services, while holding that zero-rated services should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Calling the pursuit of a ‘Digital Single Market” strategy is a one of the “greatest ambitions” of the European Union, Cable Europe likewise noted that “[l]egislators have acknowledged that a fast paced technological evolution is not compatible with overly prescriptive rules.”

“We believe that the ambitions of the Digital Single Market strategy are shared by industry and legislators alike,” Matthias Kurth, executive chairman of Cable Europe, said in a statement.  “We recognise that the potential for digital transformation must not be fettered by overly prescriptive rules that will stifle innovation and put lead boots on the boundless potential of our digital technology.

He added that “[m]uch rests now on the use of these guidelines by regulators, which whilst allowing National Regulatory Authorities the necessary autonomy could result in a negative outcome for progressive innovation.  We urge the NRAs to embrace the ambitions of  the Digital Single Market, and look forward to working with them as we turn the potential of Europe’s digital future into a reality." 

Cable Europe’s members include Liberty Global, Virgin Media, Vodfone, NOS, GET, Ziggo, SuisseDigital, Canal Digital, Cable Belgium, ANGA, Telecolumbus, NLKabel, Kabel Norge and com hem, among others.