France flirts with net neutrality

The net neutrality debate, while a major telecom policy issue for the FCC, is finding its way across the pond in France where the country's major service providers are debating how they can gain a financial benefit from the government's plan to regulate Internet traffic.

Similar to the U.S., France's net neutrality debate pits traditional telecom service providers (France Telecom and Bouygues Telecom) that want to offer premium-priced high bandwidth packages against the Internet search companies (Google) that advocate equal treatment of all Internet traffic. While net neutrality has been a major policy initiative of the U.S. and FCC, the European Union has taken steps to implement rules that member states such as France and Britain could adopt.  

Stephane Richard, France Telecom's CEO, believes that the net neutrality issues is a question of who makes money selling Internet services--the traditional service providers that build out and maintain broadband networks or the ISPs and content providers that leverage the networks to deliver services to consumers

"Internet should be neutral and open but also fair," Richard said in a Reuter's article. "It should not just be a theatre where a certain number of global Internet companies escape regulation and capture all the value."

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article
- Reuters also has this coverage

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