EU Commissioner Promises Public Shame to Naughty ISPs

While Europe might be enacting new telecoms law on May 25, most of the new regulations avoid anything that might resemble net neutrality rules. But one politician is promising to do something to keep consumers happy and protected from the telecommunications industry. Like here in North America, these rules come off as all hat, no rabbit. Still, the EU commissioner promises action of a sort: shame.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes promises to keep an eye on any Internet problems that might arise from blocking, throttling, or lying to the public about actual connection speeds. If problems arise that can’t be solved by changing ISPs, Kroes says she is prepared to legislate. But for now, the good commissioner says that she plans to publically shame ISPs into good behavior.

The European Commission believes that competition is the best solution to potential problems, pointing to line-sharing rules in many European countries as the source of this competition. In addition to competition and line sharing, the EU asked national regulators to keep an eye on "anti-competitive behavior" among Internet providers, but has offered no rules to deal with such behavior.

But Kroes has issued a warning to ISPs that the avoidance of net neutrality rules doesn’t mean they are getting a free pass from her – especially when it comes to messing with Internet connections.

"Mark my words: if measures to enhance competition are not enough to bring Internet providers to offer real consumer choice, I am ready to prohibit the blocking of lawful services or applications," said Kroes. "It’s not OK for Skype and other such services to be throttled. That is anti-competitive. It’s not OK to rip off consumers on connection speeds."

At least Europe has one commissioner that seems to care about consumers.

Source: Ars Technica

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