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Net Neutrality hits the Netherlands – is it headed to a country near you? June 30, 2011

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in VoIP catagory.

As anticipated, the Dutch parliament last week made Netherlands the first European Union country to craft a Net Neutrality law. The legislation, which still awaits final approval, includes language barring ISPs from levying fees on mobile VoIP services.

The VoIP rule itself, cheered by Skype and other VoIP providers, is being seen as a major blow to traditional telecom service providers like KPN. The Dutch government’s action follows the creation of the world’s first Net Neutrality law in Chile.

In the U.S., traditional telecom service providers have been trying to get the Federal Communications Commission to force VoIP providers to pay similar fees, which remains a key part of the ongoing debate over the future of the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. The FCC faces an uphill battle as they attempt to balance new technology against the corporate giants in telecom. The inclusion of wireless an any net neutrality debate is sure to raise concerns with the likes of AT&T & Verizon, who always want a level playing field, as long as its leveled in their favor.

I have always found it interesting that the big telecom companies pushed so hard to deregulate broadband products, but now that consumers are selecting alternative suppliers they want to ensure they get “their fair share” by regulation. Good luck to the FCC and let us all hope that regulation doesn’t choke innovation.

Joe Buck, NCE

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