Broadband News

Neelie Kroes talks out on open internet with no barriers

Neelie Kroes the Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda has made a speech outlining her views on how the EU can guarantee competition to encourage innovation and ensure that people get what they pay for.

"And yet it's clear to me there are problems in today's internet. The 2011 study by European regulators (through BEREC) showed that, for many Europeans, online services are blocked or degraded – often without their knowledge. For around one in five fixed lines, and over one in three mobile users. It is obvious that this impacts consumers, but start-ups also suffer. Because they lack certainty about whether their new bright ideas will get a fair chance to compete in the market.

Plus, many other Europeans aren't getting the speeds or quality they paid for. This is a basic principle that applies in other consumer markets – it should apply to internet access too.

In parallel we are seeing the pressure for national action on net neutrality. The telecoms single market is far from complete – and a failure to take coordinated action on net neutrality would shatter the fragile construction. If we don't address net neutrality, wider problems will arise and tomorrow's innovative services might have to stop at the border."

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda
Extract from speech: The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all

Many people hear about the net neutrality debate and think it means an end to traffic management, but that is not the case as Neelie Kroes still sees a place for it if it is managing traffic at peak times, but much more needs to be done across Europe to make consumers aware of what management is in place on a service. The biggest issue is where a service provider blocks a protocol/service totally, for example Skype is blocked on some mobile networks in various countries around Europe.

For the UK a good few of the points are already happening, for example being given a speed estimate for a service at the time of signing the contract and providers listing key metrics on traffic management. A key part seems to be people should get what they pay for, so this raises the question as to what level of internet people expect when they pay just a pound or two each month, compared to someone who pays £25 per month.


You can hardly blame mobile phone operators banning internet phone calls.

Network capacity is not unlimited or free rather it is a resource that needs to be shared between an ISPs customers rather than taken by a few.

Plusnet did away with their limited packages and, for me anyway, increased their price for a so called unlimited package which I can't possibly benefit from due to limited line speed. I have not forgiven them.

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 7 years ago

If a firm is unable to provide enough bandwidth for their customers at busy times, then they should increase their bandwidth.

We are paying for a service and by throttling the service when we want to use it they are failing their customers IMHO.

Now if this means that they need to raise their prices then this will be the penalty.

Too many ISPs are pushing for business with poor infrastructures. This needs to be fixed first.

  • ScubaGirl
  • over 7 years ago

Seems that Kroes is on some massive taxpayer funded ego trip - bossing everyone in sight around to do things her way at their or our expense.

Nice work if you can get it.

  • herdwick
  • over 7 years ago

Seeing the kind of clueless muppets Neelie Kroes has associated with in the past I must admit to struggling to take her seriously.

Operators should have every right to advertise a cheap and nasty service for those who want to buy it so long as they are clear about it. Enforcing minimum quality standards will simply remove the bottom of the market for those who, above all else, want something that's vaguely workable as cheaply as possible.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 7 years ago

Plusnet is BT else how a small company spend millions on TV ads. BT circumventing regulations set up to deregulate the UK coms industry. Why were BT allowed to buy plusnet in the first place?

Mobile phone operators should charge for data and users decide how it is used.

Very few users really need unlimited data & those that use more than average degrade the network for everyone piggy-backing. The issue is that ISP's should be compelled to be truthful in their ads and honour their claims or be penalised. Openreach should be fined every time they cannot install a new line within 7 days.

  • litesp33d
  • over 7 years ago

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