Feeds

Euro Council of Ministers wants Happy World

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Although Google and Verizon's stitch-up rapprochement has spiked the issue of Net Neutrality in the USA, with the push for regulation stalling in Congress last week - somebody's forgotten to tell the EU's bureaucrats.

The Council of Ministers - aka Council of the European Union - which normally busies itself with high-minded declarations about "human rights" that everyone else ignores, has endorsed an internet in which everyone can get along, but where people can still make money. Which is nice.

The Committee says: "Users should have the greatest possible access to Internet-based content, applications and services of their choice, whether or not they are offered free of charge, using suitable devices of their choice."

It also declares that "a competitive and dynamic environment may encourage innovation, increasing network availability and performance, and lowering costs, and can promote the free circulation of a wide range of content and services on the Internet." Who'd have guessed?

But to keep everybody happy, the pledge also calls for "operators of electronic communication networks" to manage Internet traffic "in connection with ensuring quality of services, the development of new services, network stability and resilience, or combating cybercrime" … but only if "measures should be proportionate, appropriate, avoid unjustified discrimination and be reviewed periodically".

The Council has given its blessing to the Digital Agenda for Europe, published after much wrangling earlier this year. That's a bunch of similar aspirations and pledges, with a good helping of work for itself, eg "the empowerment of European citizens through increased digital literacy and competences".

Last week House Democrats in the US, where the movement for pre-emptive technical regulation of the internet was born, rejected calls to reclassify the packet-switched internet as a circuit-switched network, which would have given the FCC the power to dust down telco-style regulations.

It reserved the right of the FCC to end discrimination - something the FCC argues it's had all along - but was probably the last chance to push for Congress to write up new rules for the net. A Democrat majority in either house is unlikely after November.

The Council of Ministers performs some oversight duties, but largely confines itself to pledges. Its most famous Declaration came in 1989, calling for a halt to trade relations with China. You can see how well that worked. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.