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Ofcom To Look Into Net Neutrality

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has opened a debate on the concept of 'Net neutrality' in the UK.

Net neutrality is name given to the concept that all data carried by broadband connections should be treated equally.

The idea isn't popular with many Internet service providers, who use traffic management techniques to dissuade certain users from using large amounts of bandwidth for such activities as file sharing.

Many ISPs 'throttle' - place speed restrictions on - the broadband connections of users who have broken their terms of use by downloading illegal copyrighted material, or exceeded the download limit set out in their account's 'fair use' policy.

Ofcom recognises that although traffic management can benefit an ISP's user base as a whole, they can also be used for anti-competitive purposes.

Ofcom said: “Proponents of 'net neutrality' argue that traffic management by network operators and ISPs could lead to discrimination, in turn harming what they see as essential features of today's internet.”

Ofcom explains that there is still global debate on whether consumers are entitled to a neutral internet environment. The watchdog investigating the need for new legislation that would make traffic management a more transparent process.