[v3.co.uk] Dutch ISP heralds end of net neutrality
Dutch broadband provider UPC is to introduce a new system in which its customers will pay more to access certain services and providers.
Critics have argued that the move could signal the end of net neutrality, unless it is contested by consumer groups or banned under the European Telecoms Reform package that entered the European Union conciliation procedure in May and will have its third reading this autumn. [...]
Citizens rights groups such as La Quadrature du Net, meanwhile, have registered their concerns over the UPC plans.
"This is clearly harmful to the neutrality of the network. It shows bad network management. Legitimate networks divide all bandwidth among all users and, if the network is too small, they should invest in more bandwidth," said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.
"This case determines the future of users' access to the internet. I expect there to be resistance from users and for some to leave the ISP."
However, Zimmermann said that the real danger is if other Dutch ISPs follow UPC's example. Consumers in the country would not be given a choice, and would have access only to a "sub internet" in which ISPs could favour partner web sites over competitors'.