Vaizey Says He Agrees With Berners-Lee On Net Neutrality

UK communications minister Ed Vaizey has claimed that he is in favour of net neutrality, saying that his recent speech calling for a two-tiered internet has been misinterpreted.

"I say 'don't block input' [to the internet]. It's my first principle," he told the Guardian. "I say the same as Berners-Lee."

However, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said to the paper: "There's no passage in [Vaizey's] speech where he says he's against net neutrality... We have discussed it on the phone. But I can't say yet that we're entirely in line."

On Wednesday, Vaizey had told the FT World Telecoms Conference that ISPs could soon be allowed to drop net neutrality and prioritise content providers prepared to pay to ensure a better quality of service. He said that having a lightly regulated internet was “good for business, good for the economy and good for people".

Following the event, the minister clarified his stance to the Telegraph, insisting that he is striving to maintain the current open, lightly regulated internet.

"My first and overriding priority is an open internet where consumers have access to all legal content,” he said.

He added: “I’m all in favour of innovation providing it’s not detrimental to consumers. People are already entitled to choose the speed of their connection, but we’re not saying one ISP should be able to prioritise one provider’s content over another and I don’t support the commercial decision to downgrade a rival’s site.”