11 November, 2014

ETNO statement on recent developments of the U.S. Open Internet debate

ETNO, representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, supports the Open Internet and is engaged in the global debate on net neutrality. In this context, we took part in both the F.C.C. public consultation on the Open Internet rules and in their recent round of Open Internet roundtables, held in Washington.

As the US and Europe consider their respective approaches to the open Internet, we urge policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic to adopt a future-proof path to ensure that the Internet can continue to grow, that consumers and all players in the eco-system can continue to benefit, and that those that invest in the underlying infrastructure can continue to do so at the necessary levels to sustain the intense growth of ‘Digital’ in both economies.

In this context, ETNO’s Chairman Luigi Gambardella said: “Telcos' ability to innovate and invest in new networks and services is key to citizens and businesses. Adding layers of regulation where it is unnecessary will frustrate innovation and investments in the digital value chain. This would also set the stage for more countries across the world to over-regulate the Internet”.

Policy-makers in the US and Europe should keep innovation on the Internet working and promote light touch approaches to Open Internet policies. These should recognise the consumer benefits flowing from traffic management, which is a tool to both preserve and enhance good customer experience online and allow the customer the freedom of choice of their preferred bundles. Moreover, network operators should have the commercial freedom to develop new business models, innovate at the network and service level, and offer customised services in order to support the investment climate and drive innovation and competition in the global marketplace.

Strong transparency for consumers and their ability to switch operators would underpin a vigorous competition framework across the value chain. Such a framework would be the cornerstone of an Open Internet, giving customers the widest choice of Internet access and advanced services, benefitting not only the customer, but also to the economy at large.

See our response to the FCC public consultation here.

Learn more about ETNO's Director-General intervention at the FCC roundtables here.

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