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Mobile & Wireless

Verhagen wants to prohibit 'chat fees' in Telecom Law

Wednesday 25 May 2011 | 10:41 CET | News
Dutch ministry of economic affairs Maxime Verhagen wants to amend the Telecom Law to ensure free access to the internet. The government wants to give operators the freedom to base their rates on download speeds and data volume, as is already the case. That said, the government feels that charging an additional fee for certain services such as Skype or WhatsApp goes too far. Verhagen will come out with a net neutrality proposal within the next few weeks, with the thrust on prohibiting telecom operators from charging extra for or blocking specific internet services. Verhagen will respond to the wishes of the majority of the Lower House of Parliament, which recently adopted a motion on net neutrality and is working on its own amendment of the Telecom Law. The amendment is probably bad news for mobile operators. KPN has announced new subscriptions, with deep packet inspection (DPI) used to selectively price VoIP and messaging services according to consumption. Vodafone Netherlands blocks VoIP apps, although it offsets this move by providing an extra bundle for those specific apps. Verhagen is consulting with Brussels over the new proposals. He had previously indicated that the European framework leaves little room for adjustments. Dutch privacy watchdog CBP and regulator Opta are researching the legality of deep packet inspection.

Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: KPN / Skype / Vodafone / WhatsApp
Countries: Netherlands
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