European Parliament Committee Approves Telecom Reform Bill

By Gary Kim March 18, 2014

It continually surprises some of us that content blocking and traffic shaping, or quality of service issues, are conflated. The latest example is the European Telecoms Single Market proposal recently adopted by the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament.

“Internet providers should no longer be able to block or slow down internet services provided by their competitors,” the European Parliament says. Few would disagree with that statement.

The problem is that content blocking is not synonymous with quality of service mechanisms or traffic shaping, particularly when applied to types of apps that benefit from prioritization at times of network congestion.

Then, because of linguistic confusion, “no blocking” of apps is used to justify something else, notably a restriction of Internet access to “best effort only” quality of service, something business grade services generally are allowed to provide.

The Connected Continent legislation, containing provisions related to simpler and reduced regulation, more coordination of spectrum allocation, standardized wholesale products, net neutrality, an end to roaming fees and consumer protection measures, has been approved

Internet service providers predictably oppose the restrictions on offering any levels of service aside from, “best effort.” Critics also say the exemptions for “specialized” services, including IPTV, are ambiguous about what other managed services can be created.

Granted, policymakers are right to support measures that prohibit any Internet service provider from “slowing down” or otherwise impairing the performance of any application or service that competes with an owned app or service that competes with a third party.

But quality of service mechanisms and traffic shaping can be applied in a neutral way, allowing all video entertainment, gaming or business apps to perform better. The problem with conflating “blocking” and quality of service is that end users are denied the opportunity for better experience of some apps that really do benefit from assured packet delivery mechanisms.

Unfortunately, legislators have the precedent in Europe of some ISPs having in the past actually blocked lawful apps such as Skype. But the logical approach would be to pass laws that make content blocking unlawful.

Instead, net neutrality makes traffic prioritization unlawful. They aren’t the same things.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More

Putting the Flow into Workflow, Paessler and Briefery Help Businesses Operate Better

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/14/2018

The digital transformation of business is generating a lot of value, through more automation, more intelligence, and ultimately more efficiency.

Read More

From Mainframe to Open Frameworks, Linux Foundation Fuels Up with Rocket Software

By: Special Guest    9/6/2018

Last week, at the Open Source Summit, hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project gave birth to Zowe, introduced a new open source soft…

Read More

Unified Office Takes a Trip to the Dentist Office

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/6/2018

Not many of us love going to see the dentist, and one company working across unified voice, productivity and even IoT systems is out to make the exper…

Read More

AIOps Outfit Moogsoft Launches Observe

By: Paula Bernier    8/30/2018

Moogsoft Observe advances the capabilities of AIOps to help IT teams better manage their services and applications in the face of a massive proliferat…

Read More