Hurrah! The Netherlands has become the first European country to enshrine Net Neutrality in law. This from The Register.
The Dutch Parliament yesterday agreed to make the Netherlands the first nation in Europe to officially put net neutrality principles into law. The law will force ISPs and telecom operators to ensure access to all types of content, services or applications available on the network.
The new telecom law has won a near unanimous vote, despite fierce opposition from telecom operators, who had been planning to charge for over-the-top services, such as Skype or WhatsApp Messenger, which bypass traditional cellular communications. Vodafone Netherlands is currently still blocking the use of Skype on its 3G mobile network.
Facing sharp criticism, the largest Dutch political party – the liberal VVD – withdrew an amendment which would still allow carriers and ISPs to charge extra for services. The proposal came from Afke Schaart, who until last year was Director of Public Affairs for KPN, the biggest telecom operator in the Netherlands.
In recent months, Dutch telecom operators have complained that the volume of text messaging is slowing sharply because of cross-platform mobile messaging apps which allow users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMSes.