What A Completely Neutral Internet Looks Like

As of this week, the Netherlands is a legally net-neutral country. Here’s what a real, federally mandated free internet looks like.

Yesterday the Dutch government passed a law mandating net neutrality, ensuring that internet service providers and telcos can’t favor one type of internet traffic over any other. In the US, the FCC has already approved a set of piecemeal rules to encourage net neutrality, but nothing this absolute. (And judging by Comcast and Verizon’s apparent plans, it doesn’t really have any teeth.)

Incredibly for a piece of Internet legislation, the law is written in plain, easy-to-understand language; it’s clear enough, I think, to serve as a template for the rest of the world. Here’s a sample of what good internet legislation looks like, a handy primer in what net neutrality is all about, and a template for the rest of the world. (Translation by Bof.nl):

Providers of public electronic communication networks which deliver internet access services and providers of internet access services do not hinder or slow down applications and services on the internet

Providers of internet access services do not make the price of the rates for internet access services dependent on the services and applications which are offered or used via these services.

In order to prevent the degradation of service and the hindering or slowing down of traffic over public electronic communication networks, minimum requirements regarding the quality of service of public electronic communication services may be imposed on undertaking providing public communica­tions networks.

There are caveats, of course, but they’re mostly defensible. And now we wait and see: will net neutrality destroy the Dutch internet or save it?

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