Net neutrality a clash of old, new business models, ComReg chair says

9 Sep 2010

Alex Chisholm talks about net neutrality, Ireland’s digital dividend and next-generation networks.

Just because the net neutrality debate hasn’t flared up in a meaningful way in Europe yet, telecoms regulators across the EU are talking about it and are concerned, the recently appointed chairman of ComReg Alex Chisholm confirms. So too are European telecoms companies, and they are very worried.

The debate around net neutrality in the US has focused on the current, neutral, free and open internet or the spectre of a two-speed internet where a tiered service model will mean better broadband speeds and content for some and not for others, impacting on competition and freedom.

While many have debated the issue as being about freedom of speech, it’s really about business models and who will pay to build future high-speed networks. Google recently threw fuel on the fire by appearing to side with the notion of a tiered service model for fixed-line networks, but neutrality for wireless networks.

Read more of ‘Net neutrality a clash of old, new business models, says ComReg chair’ at Digital 21. – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years