Jean-Jacques Sahel, Skype’s European Director of Government & Regulatory Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the upcoming negotiations to finalise the revised EU regulations for telecoms (often referred to as “EU Telecoms Package”) in Brussels and this week’s remarks by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
“We welcome FCC Chairman Genachowski’s balanced approach to protecting investment in networks and the applications that drive people to buy broadband access. If done correctly, this move will open up more innovation and allow consumers to make the choice about which applications they would like to use, without having that choice dictated to them by network operators.
On the other hand, many Skype users throughout Europe face censorship when they want to communicate online. Some operators are still blocking Skype traffic or charging Internet subscribers more for their traffic just because it happens to be VoIP/Skype, even if they are already paying for Internet access. This is against users’ basic right to an open internet, and we need to make sure that the revised EU regulations are finalized, understood and enforced in a way that protects fair competition, consumer choice and fundamental net freedoms.”
There is massive demand for an open Internet by consumers as a 2009 survey into “Consumer Expectations of the Internet” conducted by International research agency Synovate in the UK, France and Germany, commissioned by Google, Skype and Yahoo! shows. The results of the study clearly verify that the vast majority of consumers expect Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allow open, unrestricted access to the Internet. Out of all UK, France & Germany, 90% of consumers online want that their ISP continues, without preference, to give them access to all content or services of their choice.