The Internet Toll Road Not Taken

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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
One was paid and the other wasn’t?

 

Merkel's solution for Net Neutrality

Internet toll road a solution?

OK, so that’s not how Frost’s poem continues, but that is how Angela Merkel see the future of the Internet.  Last week the German Chancellor to the Digitising Europe international summit on digital education that the German government perceives two Internets, which she dubbed the “easily accessible” (zugängliche) Internet and the “innovation-friendly” (innovationsfreundliche) Internet.

Now, unlike President Obama, Chancellor Merkel holds a Doctorate in Physics.

  • “If you want to have a driver-less car, or if you want to have telemedicine applications, to name just two examples, then of course, you need to have error-free and more secure data transmission,” remarked the Chancellor last Thursday.
  • “Otherwise you can’t perform these applications at all. Therefore we need both the free Internet and the quality-safe Internet for specialized services.”

When I leave my house in the morning, I am actually faced with a similar choice.  I can take a toll road or I can take “old road”.  The old-road is lined with traffic lights and jam packed with rush hour commuters.  The toll-road is somewhat more reliable, so if I have to be somewhere predictably it would be the best choice.  Unlike Merkel’s vision, accidents happen on the toll-road too, which kind of takes some of the predictability out of these “fast lanes”, but that’s a different story.

A mentioned in a post late last month (here), a proposal by the EU Council’s Italian Presidency would remove language from the European Parliament’s resolution that would have regulatory effect on what Italy, and now Germany, are calling “specialized services.”

Merkel believes these issues can be quickly and amicably resolved.

  • “These special services will increase in number, but they can only develop if predictable quality standards are available. These two sides must be brought together. I believe this can be achieved in negotiations in Brussels in a short time.”

While’s It is good to some alternative views coming from well-informed politicians, I have my doubts as to whether the EU can move fast on anything or if anyone can quickly regulate the Internet.  Christmas isn’t coming early to Net Neutrality this year.

More Here… [FiereceEC]

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