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Europe doesn't have a net neutrality problem. If you don't believe me, just ask the Internet providers."There appears to be consensus among network operators, internet service providers (ISPs) and infrastructure manufacturers that there are currently no problems with the openness of the internet and net neutrality in the EU," is how the European Commission sums up a recent round of comments on net neutrality. "Indeed, some contend that traffic management actually enables the development of services at lower cost. They maintain that there is no evidence that operators are engaging in unfair discrimination in a way that harms consumers or competition."Regulators and consumer groups don't see it that way. A group of regulators found instances of: i) throttling of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing or video streaming in France, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom; ii) blocking, or charging extra for, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services in mobile networks by certain mobile operators in Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania. BEREC's analysis is supported by VoIP providers which allege blocking of VoIP and P2P applications or their being subjected to unjustified tariffs.Sounds like a problem! Fortunately, the EU has an answer: just switch to another ISP or carrier. But can you?Net neutrality summitAt a major net neutrality meeting last week in Brussels, the EU concluded that it needed to take no additional action at the moment, despite fairly widespread interference with people's Internet traffic, because its ISPs are far more competitive than they are in places like the US (thanks in large part to more regulated line-sharing on both copper and new fibre networks).European Commission VP Neelie Kroes tweeted last week during the net neutrality summit that "the #European market is more competitive than that in the #US, so a diff. #net neutrality debate here." And, she went on to add, "Know your power: if you are cut off from #Skype: vote with your feet and leave your #mobile provider."The "competition will sort it all approach" infuriates people like Chris Marsden of the University of Essex, who has written about net neutrality for years and was a panelist at the summit. "Neelie Kroes rolled in at 4.15 [pm] and said Skype blocking could be avoided by switching mobile provider when the previous panel was all about how ALL French mobiles block Skype," Marsden wrote after the event wrapped up. "She unfortunately made a fool of herself by following that—shame as she's such a Skype fan."So the EU will stick with "transparency" and "competition" for now, deferring any ground rules on how traffic is handled. Ray Corrigan, another participant at the summit, worries about this approach. "What matters is the harm being done, not transparency of the infliction of harm, which if it is accompanied by lack of action to prevent and/or repair the harm is meaningless," he wrote this weekend. "And, when switching suppliers is incredibly difficult, even in that supposed home of the most competitive ISP market in the EU, the UK."The BBC agrees. Its own TV catch-up application, iPlayer, has sometimes been attacked by ISPs. Last month, Director of BBC Future Media & Technology, Erik Huggers, anticipated the reactions of Corrigan and others."Some say that traffic management is OK in a competitive broadband market—because people can switch broadband provider if they don't like the service they're receiving," he wrote. "In principle that could be right. But in reality, people don't tend to switch broadband provider because it's too complicated, expensive, confusing and often locked in to other services such as telephone and pay-TV. And even if switching were made easier, much more work is needed to deliver real transparency about the traffic management practices used by different broadband providers."For now, Europe will stick with principles embodied in its recent Telecoms Package, which do give national regulators more power to intervene. And Kroes herself said at the summit, "I believe that any content or application that is legal and which does not cause undue congestion or otherwise harm other users or network integrity should be fully accessible. In the spirit of net neutrality all such content and applications should receive equal treatment.... You all know me well enough to know I am ready to take action to ensure this, if it this proves to be necessary at any stage."Of course, this pledge to take action against Internet blockages comes in the same speech where Kroes admits that "blocking and 'throttling' of sites and applications or applying differentiated end-user data charges for certain applications continues to a certain extent... Blocking of Internet telephone services i.e. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)—in particular Skype—over mobile networks is the obvious example today. The situation has improved somewhat but the problem has by no means been fully resolved."In the near future at least, it's up to the national regulators to do—or not do—anything about these arrangements.