Demise of net neutrality will hit e-public services


Demise of net neutrality will hit e-public services

Kathleen Hall

Online access to public services could be put at risk if the principle of net neutrality is abandoned, according to user group the Communications Consumer Panel (CCP).

The warning follows a series of consultations by Ofcom and the European Commission regarding traffic management by ISPs. The UK regulator said it was not ready to make a decision about regulation this year.

However, the CCP said consumers could be adversely affected by a two-tier internet system as more public services move online.

Panel chair Anna Bradley said such a move could result in a significant difference in user experience.

"In this scenario, public services could suffer from being in the shadows of more appealing commercial services. This might not be an issue now, but we are seeing the development of exciting new e-health services that could have widespread benefits," she said.

The CCP called for more research by Ofcom into the possible effects that a traffic management system might have on consumer behaviour.

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