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Open letter presses Vaizey on net neutrality

by Sarah Griffiths on 3 December 2010, 11:33

Tags: UK Government

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A bunch of influential internet big hitters have called on the UK government to keep the internet open and protect net neutrality.

A total of 19 signatories wrote an open letter to the culture minister, Ed Vaizey, pleading with him to take practical measures to safeguard net neutrality and the digital economy, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Backed by internet CEOs, entrepreneurs, web freedom campaigners plus Skype and eBay, the letter asks for the government to make sure all content on the net is treated equally and that traffic management is kept to a bare minimum.

To do this they have also pushed for more investment in network infrastructure to boost capacity as well as strong regulatory framework.

The letter reportedly reads: "End-users' choice of which applications, content, and services to view, use or run is already restricted in the UK today, especially when accessing the internet on mobile. The government's commitment to the open internet must be reflected in action on the ground to remove any such arbitrary restrictions to the open internet."

The signatories have also called for Ofcom to step in quickly and deal with complaints and for the government to support mores self-regulation by service providers and ‘judiciously' introduce the new European laws on web freedoms, according to the newspaper.

Vaizey has previously said he backs a dual speed internet to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to charge extra for speedier access. However, he later told The Daily Telegraph his comments were taken out of context, that he actually does back net neutrality and he would support legislation to keep the internet open.

Meanwhile, the same debate is raging in the US where politicians are trying to balance the lure of a dual speedy system that could make extra money with that of net neutrality.

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