Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Net neutrality: Commission tries to break deadlock

The compromise proposal strikes a balance between competing plans from the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

European Commission negotiators have proposed restrictions on when broadband providers can give certain services higher priority than others, according to internal documents seen by POLITICO.

As part of negotiations over the so-called Connected Continent package, the Commission last week proposed letting Internet service providers sell some services separately from regular Internet access in order to ensure high-quality transmissions.

The compromise, however, comes with a catch: Internet service providers would only be permitted to set aside space on their networks for special services if regular customers wouldn’t suffer. Special services also could not be used as a substitute for what is available on the open Internet.

The position strikes a balance between the European Parliament, which wants strict definitions of such specialized services in order to preserve the equal treatment of customers, and that of the Council of the European Union, which would prefer a principles-based approach without hardline definitions.


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