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EU net neutrality proposal would wind up creating fast lanes

Posted by Soledad Vega on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 09:40

Don't be fooled: The EU's draft regulations are nothing more than a Big Teleecom-sponsored Internet slow lane plane in disguise. If you're in the EU, speak out at SaveTheInternet.eu

Article by the Huffignton Post

A draft agreement released by the European Commission has many net neutrality advocates concerned that a loophole will destroy net neutrality in Europe by creating Internet "fast lanes."

In its public proposal, the European Commission would apply the fundamental principles of net neutrality to all broadband Internet services providing access to the Open Internet in Europe's single digital market: no blocking or throttling of legal online content, apps or services. All bits traveling over the networks the EU defines as the Open Internet would be treated equally. Prioritization, "degradation or discrimination" would all be be banned. 

The sticky wicket lies in the creation of "specialized services," like "IPTV, high-definition videoconferencing or health care services like telesurgery." According to the EC's proposal, such services "use the Internet protocol and the same access network but require a significant improvement in quality or the possibility to guarantee some technical requirements to their end-users that cannot be ensured in the best-effort open Internet."

It's these specialized services that are raising red flags for advocates. 

"'Specialized services' has always been a potential problem," Harold Feld, senior vice president at Public Knowledge, said in an interview. "On the one hand, regulators hate to ban anything completely. The argument is always that there might be some wonderful life-saving medical application or super awesome wonderful job-creating application that only works with prioritization. On the other hand, regulators also recognize that the exception can effectively nullify net neutrality if any application or content can simply be declared a 'specialized service.'"

- Read more at the Huffington Post