Netherlands Now World's Second Net Neutrality Nation
Net neutrality was a hot topic in 2010, when the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was deciding on whether to allow internet providers the ability to prevent or slow access to certain content, sites or VOIP providers in an effort to give preferential access to their own services and/or to slow the access of their competitors.
It was reported last week that Netherlands just became the second country to legally become a "Net Neutrality" nation,
"The new law requires companies providing access to the Internet to treat all Internet services equally. They cannot favor their own services, nor charge extra to access a competitor's service...(In the US, Comcast is currently making this same argument about its own IP-based video services.)" via ArsTechnica
Pros for Net Neutrality
Net neutrality is already the guiding principle on the Web and allows us to gain access to any site on the Web, without restrictions to downloads, uploads or VOIP providers.
In 1990, only 3 million people to now more than 2 billion, this growth is due to the freedoms that net neutrality provides. Without innovation, we wouldn't have social tools like YouTube, Facebook and ecommerce sites like eBay or Amazon.
Cons for Net Neutrality
Cable providers argue that with expensive investments in their networks, they believe tiered access could afford for more advanced infrastructure, which would benefit all users of that network.
Net neutrality legislation threatens to do more harm than good, especially since the technology space changes so rapidly. Remember, SOPA & PIPA proposed in early 2012, written by Congressmen with little knowledge of how the internet works?
In the Netherlands, the provisions won't go in effect until 2013, allowing the European Union time to address infrastructure and user tracking issues (cookies), which will now require users to opt-in instead of automatically being stored in their browsers.
We look forward to more countries followng the path of Chile and the Netherlands, as the progress of our technology and access to the Web should never be restricted.
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