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EC Proposes Net Neutrality Legislation

European Commission Wednesday proposed a telecom market reform/harmonization legislative plan that includes network neutrality rules. The proposal comes as the FCC's own Open Internet order appeared to be in some trouble after oral argument this week in Verizon's challenge to the rules.

The EC proposed legislation that would apply to European Union members.

The EC legislative package includes banning "blocking and throttling of internet content" and "giving users access to the full and open internet regardless of the cost or speed of their internet subscription."

Like the FCC rules, companies could still provide specialized services "so long as this did not interfere with the internet speeds promised to other customers."

Consumers will also have a legal right to check on whether the broadband speeds they paid for are the ones they are getting, and to walk away from contracts where they are not.

The following can be attributed to James Waterworth, VP of CCIA:

"The European Commission is right to seek to safeguard net neutrality and the open Internet for the 21st Century," said James Waterworth, VP of the Computer and Communications Industry Association. "It is a win-win for consumers, Internet companies and telecoms firms, as research shows that high-bandwidth services such as video calling drive upgrades to faster broadband connections. The final legislation should allow specialized services, but ensure they do not degrade the public Internet and see that this is effectively monitored by regulators."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.