ITSPA, the UK’s voice for the VoIP and next generation communications industry has welcomed the agreement reached yesterday evening on net neutrality as part of the European Union’s Single Telecoms Package. After almost two years of discussions at both UK and EU level, yesterday’s agreement marks the resolution of a long running debate on how the Internet and its services should be regulated.
As a trade association which represents both network operators and ‘over-the-top’ providers, ITSPA is pleased with the European Union’s agreement which will help to secure an open internet and ensure effective competition in internet-based services. ITSPA had previously expressed concerns that the European Parliament was leaning towards an extreme net-neutrality position that would have prevented effective management of the Internet.
As part of the agreed text, the blocking of mobile VoIP services – an issue on which ITSPA has long campaigned – has been prohibited in a move of great importance to the Internet telephony industry, particularly as it becomes increasingly mobile.
Reacting to the news Eli Katz, the Chair of ITSPA said “It’s great that the EU is going to block the blockers. We’ve campaigned for years for action to stop internet services like VoIP being blocked by a few fixed and mobile operators who can’t stand any competition to their own services.“
He went on “These regulations are a sensible compromise; they will keep the internet open but they will also allow network operators to manage the network efficiently and develop new services for the future. This is great news for the VoIP industry and everyone who uses the internet. The Latvian Presidency of the EU has worked hard on this and is to be congratulated.”
The press release can be found here