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EU leans towards stricter broadband ISP contracts and closed networks

The European Commission’s (EC) new Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, has hinted that he might be about to adopt a distinctly less pro-consumer position on home broadband services and open access network flexibility than the person that he is effectively replacing, Neelie Kroes.

Kroes’s original plan for a new Single Telecoms Market across Europe included, among many other things, provisions that would have required ISPs to adopt plain language contracts that would also give you more rights to swap provider, including the right to a 12-month contract if you didn’t wish a longer term and the right to have emails forwarded to a new email address after switching ISP (that last one could be tricky).

In fairness much of this flexibility is already built into the United Kingdom’s existing regulatory approach through Ofcom, although in a recent speech Gunther Oettinger signalled that being too friendly and flexible towards consumers might not be the best approach, especially if you want to encourage investment in new technologies and foster fast “broadband for all“.

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Source: ISPReview

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