UK Government To Support Net Neutrality Says Ed Vaizey

The UK Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, has tried to allay fears that the government might be allowing internet service providers to prioritise premium, paid for content, something that goes against the concept of Net Neutrality.

Speaking to the Telegraph, the minister said that his first and overriding priority was to maintain an open internet where consumers have access to all legal content online.

He added that “Should the internet develop in a way that was detrimental to consumer interests we would seek to intervene."

Although he did not elaborate on the above point, he did says that the powers of Ofcom, the Communications watchdog and those provided by a 2011 EU directive should be sufficient to quell any fears of anti-competitive behaviour.

This should in theory prevent the formation of quasi-cartels like in other industries where the few remaining players, rather than the market, dictate prices.

Ed Vaizey's remarks at a conference in London over the fact that less government intervention online was "good for the business, good for the economy and good for the people" caused many, including ourselves, to criticise the government for seemingly giving the green light for ISPs to start prioritising some category of traffic over others.

The BBC in particular has been particularly vocal in its defense of the fundamental principles behind the concept of Net Neutrality with its director of future media and technology hinting at a scheme that would allow customers to choose their ISPs based on whether they support Net Neutrality or not.