Net neutrality–the idea that internet service providers shouldn’t limit or regulate or throttle access to specific websites–is essential to keeping the freewheeling openness that made the internet so great in the first place. Here in the U.S., the net is pretty much neutral, but there are no laws protecting it. That is to say, Time Warner doesn’t charge you more to access the really good websites, but there aren’t any rules on the books preventing them from doing so.
In the European Union, however, those rules may exist soon. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes announced a plan today that would end roaming charges on wireless networks across the continent and guarantee net neutrality. It’s worth noting that The Netherlands, where Kroes is from, already passed net neutrality last year. Here’s Kroes on Twitter earlier today:
Blocking & throttling Internet services, apps hurts us all – no reason 2b anti-competitive like this. Pls back me 2 stop it #netneutrality
— Neelie Kroes (@NeelieKroesEU) May 30, 2013