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Response to the European Commission on Net Neutrality

September 24, 2010

Today, Policy Integrity submitted comments on net neutrality to the European Commission, Directorate-General for Information Society and Media, (EC) in response to the EC’s “Public Consultation on the Open Internet and Net Neutrality in Europe.”

Similar to the way United States agencies solicit public input, the EC invited “responses” or comments, as a way to encourage debate and collect information that will feed into a report the EC will present to the European Parliament and Council before the end of the year, recommending reforms to the EU’s current regulatory framework for electronic communications. More specifically, the EC is researching and developing policies to address Internet traffic management, discrimination, and price-prioritization issues. Among the issues being considered is whether ISPs should be allowed to differentiate between content providers and, if so, how that allowance should be restricted in ways that will maximize the value of the Internet and preserve openness.

Our letter noted our support for the EC’s efforts, and that our economic analysis makes a strong case in favor of well-structured regulations in this area (as opposed to voluntary standards). Such regulations will ensure that the Internet market in Europe stays competitive, and continues generating incentives that encourage innovation from both content providers and carriers.

Included in our response was a copy of our recent policy brief, The Value of Open, as well as the earlier analysis, Free to Invest.

Filed under Public Comments, Safety and Consumer Protection