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Net neutrality debate to be continued in Europe

It appears that ETNO, which tried unsuccessfully to extend the “sending party network pays” (SPNP) principle to data through the International Telecom Regulations, suffered another big defeat in its own house, the European Parliament. But the game is not over and should not be: we too believe the Internet companies must make reasonable contributions to upgrading the networks; unnecessarily restrictive net neutrality rules may not be the most helpful is prodding the different parties toward the right compromise.

Any future horse trading, particularly over how telecom giants charge Internet companies for access to their data networks, may lead to changes in the final rules after domestic politicians and regulators provide feedback for the Pan-European proposals.

Despite the uncertainty, Internet companies and consumer advocacy groups voiced support on Thursday for the new rules, while telecom companies said the changes would potentially curtail investment in the Continent’s mobile and fixed-line Internet infrastructure.

European politicians inserted last-minute amendments intended to provide a strict definition of so-called net neutrality, which means that telecom companies and other Internet service providers cannot discriminate between different services that run on their data networks.

Full report.

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