The Netherlands Passes Net Neutrality Law

Jun 24, 2011 6:00 AM PST

THE NETHERLANDS — The Dutch Parliament this week passed a net neutrality law, making it the first European country to prohibit Internet service providers from slowing down any kind of web traffic.

The move makes the Netherlands the second country, behind Chile, to put net neutrality into law.

ISP’s oppose net neutrality because they want to be able to control and slow down the traffic of customers using a larger-than-average amount of their bandwidth, such as illegal downloaders, online gamers and those who stream movies and music.

The ISP’s say that unchecked traffic can slow down their entire network for all of their customers.

The law also bans web advertisers from leaving cookies in a user’s browser without first getting their consent. Experts say the law will have a strong impact on mobile data usage as carriers will no longer be able to charge customers extra to use Skype or other VoIP apps to make phone calls.

Many ISPs throttle, block or charge extra for many applications and content that require a large amount of bandwith.

This has become an issue for content creators, who do not want to have a two-tier Internet so that users can enjoy their content in the best way possible.

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