Feeds

France stalls plan to make Google and pals foot broadband rollout

'Obscure panel' mulls web giants funding new high-speed networks

Security for virtualized datacentres

France has put off plans to force Google and other web giants to help build broadband networks. The nation has instead handed off the controversial issue to a governmental panel described by activists as "an obscure committee".

Fleur Pellerin, France's junior minister for the digital economy, told a roundtable on net neutrality that the National Digital Council (Conseil National du Numerique, or CNN), a panel set up by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, will figure out whether a law is needed to force big biz to fund better internet networks, Reuters reported.

The dithering over this issue and the protection of net neutrality has annoyed various lobby groups. Advocacy organisation La Quadrature du Net, which argues for digital rights and freedoms, said that passing the ball onto the CNN was "disappointing".

“By referring the issue to an obscure committee rather than announcing a draft law guaranteeing net neutrality, the Minister of Digital Economy, Fleur Pellerin, is protecting operators' interests over those of the users," Jérémie Zimmermann, La Quadrature's spokesman, said in a canned statement.

"Fleur Pellerin evades the issue and abandons citizens, leaving them at the mercy of access restrictions dangerous for innovation and freedom."

France's government wants big web firms with high volume traffic to contribute to investment in high-speed internet, which is currently funded by telcos.

Google, Facebook and other top web companies naturally don't want to pay to get their content to people and any restriction of web information from sites that won't or can't pay would move the debate into the tricky territory of freedom of information online.

French broadband provider Iliad already tried to get the attention of web firms by launching a feature that blocks all online ads after Google continued to refuse to pay for the traffic it sends to customers in the country. Iliad gave up on the scheme when internet activists and web businesses went mad, but the government thinks it has a point. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.