Actual broadband speeds and supplier discrimination motivate consumer complaints

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

In the United States, the right or not of Internet access service providers is under discussion to charge differently for the traffic generated by web content providers. The discussion returns to parliament at a time when the issue of technological neutrality is at the center of attention and in which consumer protection associations ask for more firm action by the regulator regarding the verification of the advertised speeds and in fact provided by ISPs.

This last issue has also been the subject of debate in Europe, namely in Portugal and now motivates a formal request for action by the representative consumer structures, addressed to the federal regulator, for a more effective control of the information conveyed on the commercial offers of Internet operators and cable.

With regard to the issue of traffic generated by the services of some Internet companies, this was voted on last year in the United States, but ended up not having the necessary support to give rise to the legislation. Last month, two senators reintroduced the issue of Internet Neutrality by asking for legislation to set limits.

Consumer associations believe that today many Internet access providers are adopting a position of discrimination in relation to companies that offer video and web content services and ask for the control of such policies.

The subject motivates two distinct currents of opinion: the first one advocates charging additional value to content providers that transmit videos and other heavy content, in order to guarantee the maintenance of their investment capacity in new services. A second trend completely rules out the possibility of traffic discrimination.

The matter is under study and a report prepared by a task force meanwhile constituted.

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