On 11 September 2013, the European Commission unveiled its legislative package for the “Connected Continent”, with the aim of broadening the completion of the Digital Single Market in telecommunications and to improve the growth of the digital economy.
One of the most debated parts of the proposal is the Net Neutrality chapter, which touches upon traffic management, blocking or throttling, specialized services, transparency and quality of services. Both stakeholders and policymakers are divided on the need for new rules on Net Neutrality and the impact they are going to have on the market and on consumers. Therefore on 27 November EIF members and friends debated whether these new rules will ensure a well-functioning open internet.
Pilar del Castillo, MEP and EIF chair, hosted this debate and opened the floor for three prominent speakers.
Thomas Grob, Senior Expert Regulatory Strategy at Deutsche Telekom, presented telecoms’ point of view on the matter. He took the opportunity to present the advantages of specialized services, in particular IPTV and e-health. He also noted that the balance of power over the internet has shifted and he called for equal sets of rules for all players of the internet economy, including telecoms, search engines and mobile operating systems.
Listen to Thomas Grob’s speech here:
Dr. Klaus Illgner, Managing Director of the IRT (Broadcast Technology Institute), was the second. He stressed the importance of the internet to our everyday lives, and therefore that open access to the internet must be ensured for all consumers and citizens. He also noted that specialized services need further clarification and called for clearer rules for fair competition between content and traffic providers.
Listen to Dr. Klaus Illgner’s speech here:
Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow at CEPS, presented an independent point of view on net neutrality. He focused his speech around finding the right balance between open internet and market competition. He also stressed the need for a clarification of rules of competition in cyberspace.
Listen to Andrea Renda’s speech here: