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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Dutch parliament passes Europe's first net neutrality law
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Author Topic: Dutch parliament passes Europe's first net neutrality law  (Read 344 times)

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Offline DaBees-Knees

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Dutch parliament passes Europe's first net neutrality law
« on: June 28, 2011, 03:04:18 am »
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/06/dutch-parliament-passes-europes-first-net-neutrality-law.ars

Quote
Last week, the Dutch parliament passed a wide-ranging network neutrality bill that attempts to bring the country's largest wireless operator to heel. If it clears the Senate as expected, the Dutch proposal will become the first such law adopted in Europe.

Incumbent telco KPN, now privatized, announced earlier this year a new plan to rebuild slumping revenues from voice calls and text messaging: charge more to users of Internet VoIP services and instant messaging apps. To make the scheme work, KPN would use deep packet inspection to monitor and classify all subscriber Internet traffic, singling out the protocols or apps it chose and billing more for those bits.

The audacious scheme went too far even for Europe, which has long prided itself on using ISP competition—rather than regulation—as the main way to prevent abuse. Maxime Verhagen, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation, quickly announced in parliament a plan to ban the practice, and parliament approved the ban last week.

According to a translation of the text from Dutch advocacy group Bits of Freedom, the bill requires ISPs not to:

Hinder or slow down applications and services on the internet, unless and to the extent that the measure in question with which applications or services are being hindered or slowed down is necessary:

a. to minimize the effects of congestion, whereby equal types of traffic should be treated equally;

b. to preserve the integrity and security of the network and service of the provider in question or the terminal of the enduser;

c. to restrict the transmission to an enduser of unsolicited communication as refered to in Article 11.7, first paragraph, provided that the enduser has given its prior consent;

d. to give effect to a legislative provision or court order.

The bill also demands that ISPs not "make the price of the rates for Internet access services dependent on the services and applications which are offered or used via these services."

"This is because of the needed investments in the network and the decline in voice and SMS traffic," said Verhagen's office when the bill was introduced. "Minister Verhagen isn’t against paying for the quantity or the speed of the data traffic. The Cabinet, however, is of the opinion that a surcharge on specific services like Skype or WhatsApp goes too far."

The bill still requires some technical changes—the Dutch Labour party managed to "accidentally" vote on an amendment that allowed users to request blocking of site on their own connections for ideological or religious reasons. Members apparently believe that the amendment could provide some kind of loophole for ISPs and they wish to reverse the vote. The amendment seems to have been drafted so that ISPs can filter pornography and other objectionable content at subscriber request; without the amendment, it would appear that only local, end-user filtering programs would be allowed.

Bits of Freedom hopes that the bill will enter into force by the end of the year.

"To make the scheme work, KPN would use deep packet inspection to monitor and classify all subscriber Internet traffic, singling out the protocols or apps it chose and billing more for those bits"

"The audacious scheme went too far even for Europe, which has long prided itself on using ISP competition—rather than regulation—as the main way to prevent abuse"

At last a government has acted to rein in ISP excesses.  :gum:

WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Dutch parliament passes Europe's first net neutrality law
 

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