#DigitalSingleMarket Fail and Why Both Sides Are Wrong About Net Neutrality

The European Parliament vote on the Telecoms Single Market in Europe was either the end of network neutrality or an historic achievement for the open internet, depending on who you ask. Both are wrong. The exception for specialized services makes by definition for a network that is not neutral. And that’s okay: neutrality is only great in theory. For the internet to really deliver on its promises of growth, jobs, freedom and a better tomorrow, it needs transparency, democratic rules and institutions to oversee those rules. In that perspective, the European Parliament’s vote is a step in the right direction. Of course the devil is in the details and next question is “what is a specialized service?”.

The Digital Single Market may sound like a great idea, but before we harmonise a market, let’s make sure it’s a market in the first place. German economist Stefan Herwig looks closer into this issue in three stories and finds that the digital markets meet all criteria for market failure. They should be fixed first, or we will be harmonizing #DigitalSingleFail.

Netopia had the opportunity to speak to Swedish movie star/director Helena Bergström on the situation for film in Europe. Even as one of the most successful actresses of all time in Sweden, Bergström has great difficulties funding her projects. Netopia’s take: The question is not how we can make films and other content more accessible and cheaper for the consumer in the digital single market, but how we can promote the value, content and diversity in the creative sector in order to get the jobs and growth Europe needs. (link to video)

The digital topics are at the core of European policy, now more than ever. Get a fresh perspective and join the conversation at www.netopia.eu!

 

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  1. What I think is very important when we are talking about Net Neutrality is the fact that it does not (as the name suggests) provide a neutral (inter)net. Instead it is actually a “pipe neutrality” or “wire neutrality” only, and says nothing about how the big platforms itself handle the neutrality issues when it comes to content.

    Google itself for instance is increasingly replacing natural search results with commercial search results in its search ongine. FAcebook is deifning an edge rank where the visibility of its users is being reduced to a minimum, unless you pay for it.ö Where is the neutrality there?

    So, “pipe neutrality” without a discussion about “platform neutrality” is like drinking dirty water from a well-cleaned glass. Its just the illusion of a neutral net….

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