Brussels – The European Commission has proposed its long-awaited telecommunications reforms Wednesday evening, designed to bring simpler rules for telecom companies offering service throughout Europe and giving consumers more rights to reach the platforms and content of their choice on the Internet. The Computer & Communications Industry Association today praised the proposal as it creates an open climate for information and a more open market for online companies and future Internet innovators.

The following can be attributed to James Waterworth, Vice-President of CCIA:

“The European Commission is right to seek to safeguard net neutrality and the open Internet for the 21st century. It is a win-win for consumers, Internet companies and telecoms firms, as research shows that high bandwidth services such as video calling drive upgrades to faster broadband connections. The final legislation should allow specialised services, but ensure they do not degrade the public Internet and see that this is effectively monitored by regulators.”

“The EC has made it clear that telecommunications operators can no longer block lawful content. Consumers have the right to access and distribute information and content, run applications and use the services of their choice from the Internet Access Provider. These rules aim to assure fairness for both consumers trying to reach sites online, and those offering Internet services by prohibiting interference from companies providing their connection. The reforms would boost rights for consumers’ access to information, and existing companies and future innovators alike will be fully available to all customers online.”

“Consumers pay for broadband to access content and services online, not because it looks nice. The market for broadband is not as dynamic as is imagined with consumer switching down 50 percent in Europe in the last 5 years, meaning consumers cannot effectively ‘police’ ISP behaviour with regard to blocking or prioritising online services and safeguards are required. So we are grateful to the EC for stepping in on this.”

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