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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Net Neutrality: Monitor citizens, don’t touch the internet


The proposal adopted by the European Union (EU) parliament Thursday,  may not after all solve the big problems when it comes to providing citizens with access to broadband infrastructure, ITRealms reports. 

According the latest Strand Consult’s analytic made available to ITRealms indicated that previously research has noted that the new EU proposals on how to harmonize the European telecommunications market has gained a lot of attention and EU Commission proposal for cheaper roaming means collapse of the European mobile industry.

Also, ITRealms reports that Strand Consult pointed out that there was a high risk that consumers would buy a subscriber identification module (SIM) card in Lithuania, for instance, where traffic is cheap, and then used it in other EU countries, where traffic is more expensive.

The Strand Consult research called its “mobile arbitrage,” hence it believes this will become a lucrative speculative market for financial traders, some operators and some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), however perverse and unintended by the EU.

Further, the EU had listened to criticism, but insisted roaming will be subject to ‘reasonable use’ even as EU Commission stipulates that consumers cannot exploit the new rules, for example, buying a SIM card in Lithuania but using it in the United Kingdom (UK), so as to benefit from Lithuanian prices.

ITRealms equally reports that the EU had made its position known that usage would be monitored, and “excessive use” of this tactic would not be allowed.

This, experts at Strand Consult told ITRealms sounds different in practice, noting that the EU Parliament adopted a proposal where it will likely ask telecom companies to monitor the their clients' international traffic, but neglecting the real thing.


“The EU statement reveals that the Commission has not considered the consequences. It has made a feel-good/sound good telecommunications package designed to win votes before the Parliamentary election without addressing or harmonizing the underlying conditions that creates the differentials in roaming in the first place namely the infrastructure costs, taxes, contract obligations etc.

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