EU may ban ISPs from throttling, blocking sites as net neutrality talks underway
In a move to bolster net neutrality across Europe, EU officials are discussing plans which would prohibit ISPs from blocking or throttling online sites and services. Currently, the Netherlands is one of the few areas to implement their own strict net neutrality policies; the vast majority of EU countries do not.
In speech addressed to the European parliament in Brussels, the European Commission's Digital Agenda VP Neelie Kroes argued that "some ISPs deliberately degrade" and even outright block network services like Skype and Whatsapp for anti-competitive reasons. Kroes is looking to regulators to craft policies which curb these dubious practices without stifling competition and innovation but meanwhile encouraging transparency and consumer choice.
"But equally it's clear to me that many Europeans expect protection against such commercial tactics. And that is exactly the EU safeguard we will be providing. A safeguard for every European, on every device, on every network: a guarantee of access to the full and open internet, without any blocking or throttling of competing services."
Source: EC Digital Agenda VP Neelie Kroes
ISPs often argue a legitimate need to prioritize certain types of network traffic over others, a practice which is often referred to as traffic shaping. Analyzing data packets to judge their network importance and prioritizing them accordingly is a useful tool for halting service-crippling DDoS attacks and ensuring latency-sensitive services like Vo-IP operate smoothly.
If all goes well and Kroes' recommendations take wing with EU lawmakers, a set of fully fleshed-out regulations still may not be in place across EU member states until 2015.
Net neutrality and what it should mean precisely has remained a contentious issue since Comcast was accused of throttling P2P network traffic in 2007. In the U.S, the FCC released a set of guidelines in 2010 in an effort to promote net neutrality, but a federal court ruled that the FCC did not have the power to enforce such rules.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Receive a weekly update of our best features and tech news you don't want to miss: