A few industry watchers might breathe a bit easier this morning after yesterday’s comments from a top EU official on matters of net neutrality. According to what was said, the EU is still committed to net neutrality and is keeping a close eye on ISPs and governments who want to weaken that principle.
Andrus Ansip, Vice President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission, said he was “really worried” by moves, such as those in Italy, that would water down the strong net neutrality rules which are set to be adopted soon by EU countries.
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, net neutrality simply means that ISPs and other middle-men need to treat all data equally without giving preferential treatment to some companies or services over others.
There’s currently a major debate going on net neutrality in the United States, with President Barack Obama recently coming out as strongly in favor of the concept. In the EU the matter was seemingly settled in the time of Ansip’s predecessor, Nellie Kroes, with national governments being in the process of adopting legislation that would sanctify net neutrality as a core principle.
However, recent comments from top EU official Jean-Claude Junker have recently added a shroud of doubt over the adoption plan for said legislation. And much more worrying is the fact that those comments would mean that long and hard battles which had already been won, would need to be fought again.
So Ansip’s stance is a welcome one, and here’s hoping this translates into strong leadership and decisive action on this front as Europe can’t afford to mess things up like our US friends did.