Dutch Senate Passes Net Neutrality Law
This week, the Netherlands became the second country in the world to have net neutrality legislation added to its telecommunications law and passed. In addition, the law includes provisions which require that websites ask users for their permission before storing cookies on their browsers, although this facet of the legislation won’t go into effect until next year. The legislation follows events which occurred in the last quarter of 2011, when a continued decrease in SMS and voice services was noticed. However, data usage continued to rise due to more consumers using apps to communicate. So KPN, a leading telecom provider in the Netherlands, planned to make users pay extra to use these apps. Two other companies quickly followed. This caused a huge public outcry, after which KPN quickly withdrew its intentions. The new law will ensure that any company who provides internet access treats all internet services equally, which means that they cannot charge customers extra to access competing services.