No need for net neutrality action, says UK regulator

No need for net neutrality action, says UK regulator | Pinsent Masons LLP: “No need for net neutrality action, says UK regulator

OUT-LAW News, 28/06/2010

SNIPPET: While US telcos, politicians, user rights activists and big media companies have spent the past three years wrangling, tussling, lobbying and shouting about net neutrality, the issue has never caused much trouble elsewhere.

Now UK telecoms and media regulator Ofcom has made it official: net neutrality is not a cause for worry. Yet.

Net neutrality demands that ISPs treat all traffic the same. Some US telcos are of the view that they should be able to favour the traffic of media companies that pay them. Opponents say this fundamentally undermines the open internet.

Ofcom has produced a report (68-page / 595KB PDF) into the issue which says that we shouldn’t be concerned: it has had no serious complaints about the issue and thinks there are no grounds for issuing blanket demands about traffic shaping yet.

It said that consumers don’t have much to worry about, though it says that there is a danger they might be confused by various firms’ traffic management policies.

It might seem anti-climactic compared to the US hysteria, but if it keeps UK politicians from proposing some of the ham-fisted laws mandating exactly how ISPs can and can’t behave that the US could face, I’ll take anti-climactic any time.