By Heini Järvinen

Today, 16 November 2015, consumer organisations, digital rights advocates, competitive broadband operators and others joined forces to form a new alliance: #NetCompetition.

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Ahead of the upcoming review of EU rules governing telecoms, the alliance wants to send a message loud and clear to EU policy makers: Broadband is there to serve society at large and all users deserve real choice, innovation, freedom of communication and affordable services.

The coalition, support the #NetCompetition principles, which aim at fostering competition, digital rights, business diversity, economic pluralism and consumer benefits.

“Broadband markets routinely score badly with EU consumers but are vital to use digital services. Competition is the best recipe to prevent EU consumers are not at the mercy of a handful of big players”,

said Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC).

“Liberalisation is not just an economic issue – protecting liberalisation is protecting innovation, choice and freedom of communication”,

added Joe McNamee Executive Director of European Digital Rights.

Broadband markets naturally tend to form oligopolistic or monopolistic structures. As a result, markets need to be continuously shielded against foreclosure, excessive concentration and attempts of re-monopolisation. In this context, the main objective of EU lawmakers should be to protect users particularly by promoting competition in open networks.

“Our customers, consumers and businesses alike, are asking for more choice and freedom to access the internet. All we ask is clear rules allowing us to invest and to compete to gain their trust”,

said Lisa di Feliciantonio, Fastweb’s public affairs director,

#NetCompetition supporters believe that the US broadband market serves as a warning example: less competition raises prices, delivers poor services and creates traffic discrimination while failing to provide higher level of network investments. Evidence shows that there is no possible trade-off between competition and investments; on the contrary, large companies have an incentive to invest only when they are subject to competitive pressure.

The #NetCompetition alliance is open and it includes so far consumer and user groups BEUC, ConsumentenBond, OCU, EDRi and Access Now; industrial ICT users association INTUG,; the association of Italian ISPs AIIP, alternative broadband providers QSC, Fastweb, BREKO, the German competitive broadband providers association, Voiceworks and the global ISP Cogent.

The alliance will be formally launched today at the annual conference of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) in Brussels. Its role will be to draw the attention to the importance of a healthy competitive EU broadband market to the benefit of the economy and the entire society.

More info at www.savenetcompetition.eu

Contacts:
Email: info@savenetcompetition.eu
Phone: +32 (0)484 403 455

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