Dutch parliament voting on mobile 'net neutrality'

June 21, 2011 - 5:45 AM

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch parliament appears set to approve a bill Tuesday that would force mobile Internet providers to let their customers use Skype and other third-party services on their networks without charging extra or giving preferential treatment to their own offerings.

If passed and approved by the senate, it would set an example in Europe as the strongest "net neutrality" law on record.

Telecommunications companies generally oppose the move, saying it may make it impossible to offer quality guarantees, and they won't expand their networks if they can't profit from them.

But advocates say the bill will spur innovation. It is endorsed by consumer advocates and is seen as benefiting major software companies, notably Facebook, Skype owner Microsoft, and Google.