updated 05:00 pm EDT, Wed March 18, 2009
Users want free web access
A survey of web surfers in Europe paid for by Google, Yahoo and Skype showed 90 percent of those polled want their Internet service providers to allow unrestricted access to the Internet, says a Wednesday report. The survey polled 944 consumers in France, Germany and the United Kingdom and was conducted by market research firm Synovate, and coincides with the ongoing process of the European Parliament and the EU's to invoke an Internet freedom law.
"EU lawmakers should make sure that national authorities have the powers they need to act in cases where traffic management by telecommunication companies constitute unnecessary, discriminatory and/or anti-competitive behavior," Google, Yahoo and Skype said in a joint statement.
Synovate head Nigel Jackson said most Internet users did not know ISPs may be restricting their access to the Internet. About 10 percent of the respondents said they would be willing to pay more for an Internet service that did not block access to certain sites and services, with that number growing to 15 percent among Germany's polled population.
EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding is against such a law, arguing it would force ISPs to choose between breaking the law or leaving the market open to less rule-obeying Internet service providers.