Ed Vaizey has come out saying he supports net neutrality to clarify comments made in a speech earlier in the week. Vaizey was criticised for saying that the Internet should be only lightly regulated in the UK favouring innovation by ISPs to help them manager their networks as they see fit.
The general consensus amongst the Internet community is that companies should not be able to buy better network access which could lead to a two-tier Internet where some providers are favoured over others. A good example of this is where a broadband provider such as Sky could perform traffic shaping so that the BBC iPlayer would perform badly over their network in favour that customers which content from Sky's own similar service.
"My first and overriding priority is an open internet where consumers have access to all legal content. Should the internet develop in a way that was detrimental to consumer interests we would seek to intervene.
I don't accept the premise that I am not protecting the internet from enormous commercial concerns. I'm all in favour of innovation providing it's not detrimental to consumers. People are already entitled to choose the speed of their connection, but we're not saying one ISP should be able to prioritise one provider's content over another and I don't support the commercial decision to downgrade a rivals site."Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister
Whilst consumers in the UK are in a somewhat unique position of having a large choice of broadband providers available to them, allowing them to vote with their wallet, this isn't the case in other countries such as the US where one operator tends to dominate a region.