Posts Tagged ‘Net Neutrality’

Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?

Posted on Mar 17 2011 by Neil Watson | No Comments

In the face of widespread debate about net neutrality and increasing consumer unrest about how Fair Use Policies and traffic management affects their broadband experience , the Broadband Stakeholder group (BSG) and seven of the UK’s largest ISPs have published a new Voluntary Code of Practice regarding broadband transparency. This new code of practice will be piloted by BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, O2, Three and Vodafone throughout 2011, with review and potentially further adoption by other ISPs in early 2012.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Commenting on the new code Antony Walker, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said:
“There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years. This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market.

Consumers need to be able to make informed choices about the services they buy and policy makers need to be able to make informed decisions about the policy and regulatory framework they set. This new commitment provides an essential building block for getting both of these things right.”

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Keeping the Internet safe – What’s the best approach?

Posted on Jan 17 2011 by Neil Watson | No Comments

The European Parliament is currently debating a proposed EU directive to prevent the sexual abuse of children and child pornography. One of the main topics of discussion has been the pros and cons of blocking offending websites. Whilst we all agree that this is a very important issue that must be tackled correctly there are many contrasting views over the best approach.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Historically, in the UK at least, ISPs that implement the voluntary IWF filter block reported websites, meaning standard users will be protected from viewing the illegal material. However, the blocks can be circumnavigated quite easily by the most persistent offenders and the illegal content can still be accessed and distributed. MEP Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE) has argued that because of this, blocking is not effective.

In response to this debate EuroISPA has announced its own proposals for tackling the issue. Firstly it agrees with MEP Alvaro and suggests that all offending websites should be completely removed rather than blocked. Malcolm Hutty, President of EuroISPA and Head of Public Affairs at Linx, said: “In order to make the Directive on child sexual exploitation as strong as possible, emphasis must be placed on making swift notice and take down of child sexual abuse material focused and effective. Blocking, as an inefficient measure, should be avoided. Law enforcement authorities’ procedures for rapid communication to Internet Hosting Providers of such illegal material must be reviewed and bottlenecks eliminated.”

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That was the year that was!

Posted on Dec 22 2010 by Elsa Chen | No Comments

What an eventful year 2010 has proven to be! We saw a new coalition Government take power; we lost yet another World Cup; we saw a number of terrible natural disasters including the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods; volcanic ash grounded our planes; students rioted over tuition fees; the iPhone 4 and iPad were launched; and the winter Olympics were held in Vancouver. But enough about all that – what happened in the Internet industry? Our recap of 2010 highlights some of the most topical issues that affected the industry this year.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The most controversial of them all
Let’s start with arguably the most controversial story of the year – the Digital Economy Bill. We started covering this highly controversial topic back in 2009 but during 2010 we saw this Bill become an Act (DEA) as it was hastily pushed through the pre-election wash-up, much to the dismay of its opponents, which include Entanet. However, there is some good news. A judicial review called for by BT and TalkTalk was granted in November and is expected to be held in April 2011.

Unsurprisingly, the DEA’s supporters are opposing the review and continue to insist that it is satisfactory. Just last week news broke that FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) has organised an event at the House of Commons on 12th January 2011 to ‘discuss’ the topics surrounding the DEA well before the full hearing is expected.

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UPDATE: Vaizey dishes another painful blow to net neutrality

Posted on Nov 19 2010 by Neil Watson | No Comments

This week the Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, backed Ofcom’s decision to step away from regulating net neutrality and leave the market to regulate itself.

Ofcom recently argued that the UK’s ISP market is considered effectively competitive and does not present any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour and should therefore not face restrictions on all forms of traffic management.  We recently covered their claims in more detail in our opinion article (opinion.enta.net: Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?).

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

It seems the Government agrees with Ofcom, with Mr Vaizey stating: “The internet has been responsible for an unprecedented level of innovation, which has led to multi-billion dollar companies being formed in just a couple of years.

This is a model that the British government wishes to protect. A lightly regulated internet is good for business, good for the economy, and good for people.

The government is no fan of regulation and we should only intervene when it is clearly necessary to deliver important benefits for consumers.”

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Poll: Should Ofcom enforce net neutrality?

Posted on Oct 27 2010 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | No Comments

It has been recently reported that net neutrality suffered a further blow when Ofcom announced its decision not to step in as regulator after receiving responses to its traffic management and net neutrality consultation. We would like to know what you think about Ofcom’s decision to stand back from enforcing net neutrality. Therefore, we have added a new poll asking for your feedback. Please also feel free to leave us a comment below.

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