The European Union recently adopted new regulations for their Connected Continent program. These regulations are not just to help those who have a slow Internet speed; they are a set of rules to manage the Internet, the consumer, and the ISPs. Several of the issues these regulations address are still undetermined in the United States, such as net neutrality, but the EU has come out strong with an all-encompassing agenda to have the Internet where they want it by 2016.
The EU has decided to give more control to the ISPs in much of the day-to-day business dealings. While they’re trying not to have the government step on the ISPs’ toes, they have also allocated a national team to overlook the operations of ISPs to make sure they are following the rules.
Slow Internet Speed
The European Union is trying to upgrade and regulate perceived Internet speeds versus actual Internet speeds. Consumers will receive a contract from their ISP stating the actual Internet speed they can expect at normal hours and at peak hours, not just an ideal maximum speed. There will also be more information made available to the consumer about restricted applications. Some providers do not allow Skype to be used across their networks, for example, and this will have to be specified to users during sign-up.
One problem with this is, in many cases, that slower Internet speeds result from issues within the home rather than with the ISP. Wireless connections, the placement of the router, and multiple device connections can all show a slow Internet speed when a speed test is performed.
Will America Follow?
It is fairly easy to say that the United States is not going to come out and change all the rules already in place, but there may be changes. The New York Times has recently reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will continue to fight for net neutrality, and Internet privacy is sure to remain an important issue.
Times are starting to change in the Internet world. More competition is starting to develop across the globe, and this competition will drive prices down. There is a technological race among all the well-developed countries, and the prize is the Internet. But will regulations and privacy laws keep up the rapid pace of change?
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