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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Dutch Law To Stop Mobile networks From Blocking Access to Competitor Services

Mobile phone networks in The Netherlands will be barred from stopping users accessing rival communications services over their phones, according to reports.

The new law would make it illegal to stop subscribers using technology such as internet phone call service Skype. The lower house of the Dutch parliament passed the law which bans networks from blocking or charging for rival communications services on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

ISPs, such as Vodafone, T-Mobile and the former Dutch state-owned telecoms company KPN had opposed the introduction of the new law in The Netherlands, a report by the BBC said.

The new law was developed after KPN said it was to charge customers extra for using Skype and WhatsApp, a text messaging service, the BBC report said.

The net neutrality debate has been most lively in the US, where telecoms companies have said that content producers should share the cost of network building and maintenance.

US regulators voted in December to create new rules governing net neutrality that included allowing companies to pay for a faster service. Congress will decide whether to include the new rules in law.

EU lawmakers have so far only issued guidance on the principles of net neutrality, but Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, said in April she would review current practices and decide if "more stringent" measures needed to be introduced.

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