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Netherlands Cements Net Neutrality In Law 115

Fluffeh writes "A while back, Dutch Telcos started to sing the 'We are losing money due to internet services!' song and floated new plans that would make consumers pay extra for data used by apps that conflicted with their own services — apps like Skype, for example. The politicians stepped in, however, and wrote laws forbidding this. Now, the legislation has finally passed through the Senate and the Netherlands is an officially Net Neutral country, the second in the world — Chile did this a while back."
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Netherlands Cements Net Neutrality In Law

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  • by raarts ( 5057 ) on Friday May 11, 2012 @03:09AM (#39963877)

    Note this will not keep them from charging high rates for datatraffic, or setting very low caps, and charge lots more if you go over your allotment. Has cost me hundreds of euros per month for several months.

    My iPhone appeared to be very uninformative about which apps were the data hungry culprit, and Apple has blocked API's for third-party developers. Also it seems that when you enable sending diagnostics info to apple, crashdumps will be sent AT NIGHT OVER 3G EVEN IF YOU ARE AT HOME ON WIFI!

    My Dutch provider KPN was unable to offer any insight into my traffic, and was unable to help me with determining why I was consuming so much traffic.

    Many ad-supported apps do not have switches to disable ads-over-3G, my traffic app was eating into my monthly

    Overall I have been very disappointed at my iPhone in this respect, and no, I will not switch to Android yet, but this was a serious downer.

  • Nice, but incomplete (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @03:16AM (#39963903)

    Unfortunately it contains an exception that still requires ISPs to block websites deemed copyright-infringing by a judge. Soon, almost all ISPs will be blocking the Pirate Bay (although they are still on appeal). Fortunately, free proxies are popping up like mushrooms, so it doesn't have must direct effect, but it still effectively requires ISPs to set up theur system for censorship through DNS+IP blocking.

  • by DerPflanz ( 525793 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2012 @03:22AM (#39963927) Homepage

    And, in other news, a Dutch judge approved blocking of the piratebay, as requested by a private party Brein (dutch RIAA).

    The net neutrality law actually allows blocking of sites through court orders.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @03:25AM (#39963953)

    ..because all you need is a judge to agree otherwise. The law specifically includes an exception to allow the Dutch court to deviate from neutrality.

    Gettings a judge to agree in the Netherlands is not that hard as some recent court cases show.

  • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @03:53AM (#39964057)

    Actually, we had cheap unlimited mobile internet up to about a year ago (E 9.99 for the internet add-on). Now that the customers have discovered the mobile web, mobile providers have doubled their rates three times (all in unison, fixed pricing anyone?) and adding ridiculously low data caps on their cheaper plans (100mbs a month, seriously??). Moreover, they tied the data allowance to the minutes in a plan, so if you want a 2gb cap, you'll also have to buy a ridiculous amount of minutes. Only last month some virtual providers started offering mix 'n match packages where you are free to select separate internet, voice and text packages.

    Also, most non-mobile internet providers are formerly state-owned, so they didn't have to build their own networks. And if you want cable internet (triple play packages) there is absolutely no consumer choice as the Netherlands is divided between two large cable providers and a bunch of small ones, with their networks having NO overlap. Where you live decides your ISP. The only competition the cable companies have is ADSL through KPN (and a few virtual providers) and (in a few larger cities) Fiber.

    Then again, we're not as screwed as Belgium where data caps are very normal (even on non-mobile) and competition is also absent.

  • Re:Too bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday May 11, 2012 @05:37AM (#39964459)
    Finland is huge and has mountains. Super fast internet for everyone over there.
  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday May 11, 2012 @06:00AM (#39964559) Journal
    I think you misunderstand the reasons for the creation of this law. It is not to safeguard us from censorship, or to protect providers from having to censor certain sites. It is to protect us consumer from those providers, preventing them from blocking certain traffic selectively and ask for a premium to have that block removed, and to prevent them from throttling bandwidth to services that compete with premium services they offer themselves. Since the providers were poised to do exactly that, this law is far from meaningless.

    There is another exception, by the way: providers are still allowed to block certain sites at the request of the subscriber. There is a Dutch provider (Kliksafe) which offers pre-filtered Internet connections that are deemed safe for members of the Dutch Reformed church, whatever that means (maybe they shut off on Sunday...)
  • Re:Too bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by JosephTX ( 2521572 ) on Friday May 11, 2012 @06:49AM (#39964769)

    Mobile service is irrelevant. Nobody actually WORKS from their phone or tablet.

    And bandwidth caps in most countries are still higher than what most people in America could get by downloading movies for most of the month. One of Japan's largest ISP's (NTT), for example, received alot of bad publicity when they started a policy to slow down service to anyone downloading 30GB a day. That's almost 1TB a month. Australia, one of the most notorious countries for bandwidth restrictions, has ISP's that charge anywhere from $60 (unlimited DSL) to $130 (1TB monthly).

    And the US has almost no overlap in high-speed internet networks, either. In fact, 98% of Americans have only ONE choice for broadband speeds. Everything you just complained about with the Netherlands applies to the US as well. The funny thing is that, while AT&T and Comcast both call it socialist when anyone says we should take the infrastructure back and let ISP's compete over it, they campaigned FOR that very thing in the UK because THEY were the small ISP's there.

  • Re:Too bad (Score:3, Informative)

    by Caesar Tjalbo ( 1010523 ) on Friday May 11, 2012 @07:30AM (#39964945)

    Mobile service is irrelevant.

    Mobile was the reason the Dutch netneutrality legislation was drafted. Carriers used to selling (mobile) phone by the minute and text messages per piece wanted to apply the same ideas to data: such as Skype per minute or pay-per-video Youtube, all to be monitored through DPI.

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