- Net Neutrality in the Netherlands
- Gyeongje Gyuje wa Beob = Journal of Law and Economic Regulation
- Volume | Issue number
- 7 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
The Netherlands is among the first countries that have put specific net neutrality standards in place. The decision to implement specific regulation was influenced by at least three factors. The first was the prevailing social and academic debate, partly due to developments in the United States. The second was the implementation of the amended European regulatory framework for the communication sector. Concrete developments in the Dutch market were the third factor.
The first part of this chapter describes the three factor are described in detail. It sketches the context of the debate including the amendments that were introduced to regulate net neutrality. Specific incidents contributed to the willingness to change the telecommunications act.
Next the relevant provisions are mentioned including the explanatory memoranda, as they offer the necessary background for the interpretation of the provisions. Three provisions are relevant: the core article on net neutrality and two supporting provisions on transparency and deep packet inspection.
The new rules have to be implemented and supervised by the ACM (the Authority for Consumers and Markets), who had to deal with some first cases. Next to the role the regulator, the market was faced with the consequences of the regulation and changed its pricing policies. We also mention the fact that the rules were more or less extended into the framework of broadcasting regulation.
The analysis and conclusions promote an integral value chain approach. It’s not possible to restrict net neutrality to ‘network neutrality’ exclusively. Other value chain elements need to be considered as well. it should be established which elements of the value chain affect the process of free exchange between the information provider and the information user. This is a matter far more complex than would be in line with a typical telecommunications approach where the accent is mainly on the provider of telecommunications
networks and telecommunications services. The convergence between telecommunications and communications regulation can’t be ignored. At the same time, overregulation and underregulation will mean that any problems concerning throttling and blocking of Internet traffic will occur or be aggravated elsewhere in the value chain. The intended purpose will then not be achieved.
Real net neutrality issues will arise in the context of the distribution of audio-visual services. It is expected that questions on interconnectivity (including the role of so called Content Distribution Networks (CDN’s) will get a more prominent place in the debate. Concepts such as ‘managed’ versus ‘unmanaged’ services need to be clarified and implemented in practice.
- Korean translation on pages 163-178. - In special issue: Net neutrality and internet traffic management in the smart media era.
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