Net Neutrality Legally Defined in the Netherlands

If it is up to the Dutch Minister of Economics, Maxime Verhagen, net neutrality will be legally adopted in the Netherlands. This was stated  in the Dutch Parliament during a debate yesterday regarding a new telecommunications law where the “net neutrality” amendment was embraced by most political parties. The amendment requires Internet providers and telecom operators ensure equal access for customers to all types of content, services, or applications and prohibits the blocking, delay or obstruction of specific services.

The debate over net neutrality has been running for years, but flared up again this April. KPN, a Dutch telecommunications provider, during a financial briefing for analysts indicated that it wanted to charge customers extra for certain applications such as VoIP and WhatsApp.

Verhagen does have one objection to the amendment:  he wants to add an exception if there is an agreement between the customer and a provider to block certain applications and services. These would include applications such as Kliksafe providers, which offer a filtered Internet, to remove  “harmful” content such as pornography and violence
Throughout our existence as hosting company as stated earlier in one of our blog articles, Leaseweb has stood for the proposition that the Internet should be unrestricted, with no tiered services. Leaseweb opposes ISPs blocking content or applications, which compete with their own services.

In 2010 Chile became the first country to approve the requirement of net neutrality. We are proud that the Netherlands, where a large part of our datacenters is located, now is the second country worldwide that has endorsed the principal of net neutrality.

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