Ofcom opens discussion with broadband firms

Monday, June 28th 2010
Broadband firms have been invited by Ofcom to discuss the issue of net neutrality.
Ofcom opens discussion with broadband firms
Providers of broadband services are being called upon by Ofcom to take part in an open discussion to make the internet a "level playing field".

Ofcom is interested in the issue of internet traffic management and the impact this has on broadband users in the UK.

The regulator is concerned that this sort of management of traffic, while often beneficial to customers, can lead to "anti-competitive" practices by internet service providers (ISPs) and network providers.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards believes that access to broadband is playing an increasingly central role in society.

"How this access is controlled by ISPs affects us all and is of wide reaching significance," he explained.

"At the heart of this discussion is how to ensure that traffic management practices are transparent and how to ensure that traffic management is not used for anti-competitive discrimination."

The announcement from Ofcom comes off the heels of the fall-out over the Digital Economy Act.

Some ISPs, including BT and TalkTalk were dismayed at the draft code on illegal filesharing from Ofcom issued following the Act taking effect.

The firms were unhappy that only large ISPs would be required o take action if they believe that accounts were being used illegally.

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