UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (National): Government encourages Internet Providers to be transparent in the way they manage online traffic

Press Release   •   Nov 17, 2010 11:05 GMT

Governments should do all they can to secure an open, transparent internet, avoid regulation and encourage competition, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said today.

During a speech at The FT World Telecoms Conference, the minister set out the government’s position on net neutrality.

There has been a debate in many countries around net neutrality, which refers to the extent internet traffic should be managed.

Mr Vaizey said:

“The internet has been responsible for an unprecedented level of innovation, which has led to multi billion dollar companies being formed in just a couple of years.

“This is a model that the British government wishes to protect. A lightly regulated internet is good for business, good for the economy, and good for people.”

The minister said the government would take into account three factors before considering any proposals. They are:

  • Openness – consumers should be able to access any legal content or service. Content providers should be able to innovate and reach users.
  • Transparency – providers should set out in detail the extent of their traffic management and the impact on customers.
  • Support for innovation and investment – ISPs should be able to manage their networks to ensure a good service and have flexibility in business models. Competition is important for ensuring continued openness and choice.

Mr Vaizey said:

“The government is no fan of regulation and we should only intervene when it is clearly necessary to deliver important benefits for consumers.”

Notes to Editors

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