Net Neutrality Slow to Enter into European Telecom Regulations Debate
Posted under Network Neutrality , Open Spectrum


Net Neutrality is overshadowed by wider regulatory problems in Europe. In the most recent EU Telecom regulations review, net neutrality was alluded to only indirectly. The leading issues in EU telecoms debate at present are

  • Unifying Regulatory body accross Europe; debate is dominated by the compromise between a central regulatory body and decentralized powers at national level
  • Curbing the Mobile roaming charge abuse; mobile phone operators currently operate non-competitive tariff arrangements for roaming service
  • Transfer to new technologies , notably IP technology
  • Improved Spectrum Management in recognition of the inefficiency of the current spectrum licence assignment model. The spectrum debate will hopeful give rise to increased ranges assigned to unregulated and market players, which extract huge value with the neutral "end-to-end" data comms technologies like bluetooth and wimax.
  • Reduction of the regulatory burden on companies; if anything the European market is over-regulated and EU commission is charged with increasing freedom of the market gradually.

Net neutrality has entered the debate; finding the right balance between regulation and competitive market mechanisms for the IP data transit services is acknowledged as important by the EU Telecom Commissioner. Alex Blowers, International Director of UK Telecoms Regulator OFCOM, raised the issue in EU Regulatory framework consultation seminar. But the work on assuring the best net-neutrality solution is very much secondary to agreeing on the final EU regulatory bodies. Whom will be charged with investigating and legislating net neutrality in Europe is still an open question.

Regulatory development on net neutrality needs a push lest the markets implement layered net services without waiting for any regulations.

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