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Kroes: Net neutrality reforms are a 'balanced' solution

Friday, October 24th 2014 by Ellen Branagh

Outgoing European digital commissioner Neelie Kroes has spoken of her hopes that a package of telecoms reforms, including those around net neutrality, will soon become law.

Ms Kroes told Cable.co.uk that net neutrality is a “balanced proposal” of a legal paper currently on the table awaiting final agreement.

In April the European Parliament voted for amendments to telecoms legislations including rules enshrining net neutrality, or the principle that all internet data and traffic should be treated equally, in EU law.

The package is being reviewed by member states, with final agreement hoped for by the end of 2014.

Ms Kroes, who is at the end of her tenure as European Commission vice president in charge of the digital agenda, told us that she hoped it would be pushed forward and accepted by the commission.

She said: “We need to come to a deal talking about net neutrality but also talking about roaming and talking about consumer protection, talking about spectrum, that is in the package.

“Net neutrality is a balanced proposal of that legal paper that we put at the table.

“And I really hope that the Italian presidency will push that forward in the last two months of their presidency and that it will be accepted by parliament and the council and of course by the commission.”

Net neutrality has become a controversial issue in the United States, with service providers and organisations such as Netflix on opposite sides of the fence on the issue.

Proposals for telecoms reforms – championed by Ms Kroes – include protecting the open internet, simplifying regulation, and doing away with roaming charges.

Ms Kroes has previously welcomed the Connected Continent package as “the EU delivering for citizens”, but some telecoms operators have expressed concerns.

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