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Kroes favours consumer choice over 'net neutrality' law

Traditional media companies have suffered from the financial crisis and the emergence of the Internet, during the EU press in Brussels must as well keep on its toes and needs public support "now more than ever," according to Aidan White, former head of the International Federation of Journalists.

The European Commission wants to ensure that consumers can have full access to high-speed Internet at any time nevertheless refrained from regulating on so-called "net neutrality" for now, saying the remedy may be worse than the disease.

Consumers' ability to have full Internet access at all times must be protected, said Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes.

The report showed that until further notice 20%

The report showed that until further notice 20%, and potentially up to half of EU mobile broadband users have contracts that allow their Internet service provider to restrict services like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or peer-to-peer file sharing. 20% of fixed operators as well enforce service restrictions that limit Internet speed.

"Consumers need to know if they are getting Champagne or a lesser sparkling wine," Kroes said in a statement. "If it is not full Internet, it shouldn't be marketed as such. Maybe it shouldn't be marketed as 'Internet' at all."

The Commission Vice-President in particular wants consumers to be given clearer information on actual, real-life broadband internet speeds. "Not just the speed at 3 am, nevertheless the speed at peak times. The upload as then as the download speed. The minimum speed, in an appropriate case. And the speed you'll get when you're as well watching IPTV as part of your triple-play bundle, or downloading a video on demand."

Kroes said her services will now prepare a Commission recommendation with targeted actions aimed at increasing choice for users and certainty for internet service providers.

More information: Euractiv