Feeds

Netherlands first European nation to adopt net neutrality

Telcos wail as revenues snatched from paws

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Dutch Parliament yesterday agreed to make the Netherlands the first nation in Europe to officially put net neutrality principles into law. The law will force ISPs and telecom operators to ensure access to all types of content, services or applications available on the network.

The new telecom law has won a near unanimous vote, despite fierce opposition from telecom operators, who had been planning to charge for over-the-top services, such as Skype or WhatsApp Messenger, which bypass traditional cellular communications. Vodafone Netherlands is currently still blocking the use of Skype on its 3G mobile network.

Facing sharp criticism, the largest Dutch political party – the liberal VVD – withdrew an amendment which would still allow carriers and ISPs to charge extra for services. The proposal came from Afke Schaart, who until last year was Director of Public Affairs for KPN, the biggest telecom operator in the Netherlands.

In recent months, Dutch telecom operators have complained that the volume of text messaging is slowing sharply because of cross-platform mobile messaging apps which allow users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMSes.

KPN recently reported that its youth-oriented brand, Hi, saw an 8 per cent decline in text messages per customer in the first three months of this year. The uptake of the WhatsApp messaging app grew from 0 per cent of Hi's Android phone users in August 2010 to 85 per cent in April 2011. KPN proposed new pricing models, but said it would not block VoiP services.

Vodafone in particular lobbied the country's minister of economic affairs, Maxime Verhagen, for a more lenient law. The new law would still allow ISPs to filter porn or other offensive content, but only if customers ask for it.

The final vote on the new telecommunications act in the Dutch House of Representatives will take place next Tuesday, but is considered a formality.

Last year, Chile was first country in the world to approve, by 100 votes in favour and one abstention, a law guaranteeing net neutrality. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.