BSG Chairman's Comment on Net Neutrality/Open Internet news articles

BSG Chairman's Comment on Net Neutrality/Open Internet news articles

On the matter of net neutrality (FT Editorial Obama is only half right about net neutrality et al) I  express strong support for the view that the  solution lies in creating “a genuinely competitive market for internet access”.

This is what the UK has done with BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and a host of other companies competing with each other. This is what the USA has not done, with many markets dominated by a duopoly of one cable company and one telco.  The Broadband Stakeholder Group, which acts as a critical friend to HMG and Ofcom on broadband policy, has also created with the industry a Code of Practice which self-regulates traffic management and access to full and open internet products.  This Code of Practice plus competition obviates the need for statutory regulation which is being backed by some other European countries despite the UK approach being taken up around the world – most recently by Switzerland.

Incidentally, the digital minister Ed Vaizey and I agreed that we should not use the American term “net neutrality”.  In the UK we call it the Open Internet.  Far more accurate.

Richard Hooper CBE

Chairman, Broadband Stakeholder Group

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