Dutch embrace net neutrality
By Robert Briel
The Dutch senate has passed a new telecom law which guarantees net neutrality and access to services such as WhatsApp, Viber and Skype. Access to cable networks through third party suppliers has also been regulated for the first time.
With the acceptance of the law, the Netherlands has become one of the first countries in the world that guarantees its citizens free access to the internet. The law also stipulates conditions for placing cookies with internet users.
The Telecom Law also regulates access to analogue cable. Third parties, such as IPTV provider Tele 2, will have the right to buy analogue TV as a wholesale product in order to resell it to their customers.
This part of the law is very controversial as an earlier attempt to open up Dutch cable to third-party resellers was stopped by Brussels. The open cable regulation is an initiative of the Socialist party and could still be overruled by the European Commission
In a statement, Tele2 said it is now investigating the possibilities of offering analogue cable to their customers.
The new Telecom Law will now come into effect after official publication, which is expected before July 1.