Monday, 26 June 2017

Net Neutrality: Dutch Courage

Jan Willem van den Bos, SNR Denton
Thursday 31 May 12

While others are still dithering on the issue of net neutrality, the Dutch have boldly decided to intervene by adopting explicit net neutrality legislation, but what this means in practice and whether others will follow remains to be seen.

The Dutch upper house recently gave its approval to the new national telecom law. The lower house had already agreed the new law some 12 months ago in June 2011. Like all other EU member states, the Dutch needed to implement the 2009 EU telecom package into their national law. Predictably, the minority government had proposed a conformist implementation of the EU rules, which only contains new policy objectives to promote net neutrality. In a surprise twist of political circumstances, however, a parliamentary majority soon adopted an amendment introducing explicit rules on net neutrality. Interestingly, around the same time, an apparent misguided comment by an executive of Dutch incumbent KPN during an investors conference call, that KPN applied deep-packet inspection to find out who was using mobile messaging service WhatsApp, may well have served as a catalyst for the amendment. KPN had just announced new mobile data tariffs that would have imposed extra charges on users of applications like WhatsApp…

The Dutch upper house recently gave its approval to the new national telecom law. The lower house had already agreed the new law some 12 months ago in June 2011. Like all other EU member states, the Dutch needed to implement the 2009 EU telecom package into their national law. Predictably, the minority government had proposed a conformist implementation of the EU rules, which only contains new policy objectives to promote net neutrality. In a surprise twist of political circumstances, however, a parliamentary majority soon adopted an amendment introducing explicit rules on net neutrality. Interestingly, around the same time, an apparent misguided comment by an executive of Dutch incumbent KPN during an investors conference call, that KPN applied deep-packet inspection to find out who was using mobile messaging service WhatsApp, may well have served as a catalyst for the amendment. KPN had just announced new mobile data tariffs that would have imposed extra charges on users of applications like WhatsApp…

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