EU wants feedback on next-gen broadband, plans to step up net neutrality actions

Copper-based DSL may still the dominant broadband access technology, the European Union (EU) wants to understand how it can update broadband funding rules to include new technologies such as Fiber to the X (FTTX).

In 2010, the EU allocated $2.6 billion in state aid to help countries deploy broadband networks as a way to enhance trade between countries and "competitiveness." However, the EU said in a statement that "Fast evolving markets and rapid technological progress may require adaptations."

The EU will take comments until the end of August and reveal its proposals in 2012.  

In related news, the EU plans to increase its enforcement of net neutrality, saying that it would impose stricter rules if it finds evidence that service providers are restricting access on their respective networks. Telecom regulator Berec will develop a study for the EU on what it says are "crucial to ensuring an open and neutral internet," including barriers to changing operators, blocking or throttling internet traffic (such as VoIP), transparency and quality of service.

If the Berec investigation, which will be released by the end of the year, reveals service providers blocking or throttling certain types of traffic, the EU said it will examine the possibility of adopting "more stringent measures."

For more:
- Reuters has this article on broadband aid
- Telecompaper has this article on net neutrality

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