EU Members Make Push For Better Internet Neutrality Policies

The opinions of 318 Internet service providers, consumers and independent groups were solicited by the European Commission in order to better gauge what the true definition of open Internet is. Internet service providers regularly restrict how much bandwidth a customer may use according to their contract, but the same companies seem to be going against contract stipulations and are giving bigger companies priority when it comes to unrestricted Internet access. The European Commission penned a telecom framework that outlines how consumers and Internet providers should approach the matter, and most of the 318 subjects agree. ISPs that use traffic management techniques to customers into tiers may inadvertently be violating confidentiality and alienating certain groups. By ascertaining the type of data being transmitted across the Internet, ISPs try to unclog the airways by assigning and removing accessibility privileges by customer tiers.

Questions of Internet congestion, illegal filesharing and excessive downloading came up, prompting the Motion Picture Associate to state their opinions. The MPA believes that illegal filesharers should essentially be placed on the lowest rung in an attempt to get them to stop. They believe that illegal peer to peer filesharing and hosting does nothing good for the Internet as a whole. Yahoo, on the other hand, has a different opinion. They state that anyone who pays for access should be able to access the entire Internet as they see fit. Consumers are given a wide variety of packages from various ISPs, so the comments made by different companies could ultimately color perceptions as well as how who people choose to do business with.