Imagine, for a moment, a world in which half the ISPs permitted their customers to access Google (or even Wikipedia) and the other half did not.
It is the sheer enormity of these effects that underpin the hopes of those who back the status quo. Nor are these proposals without their opponents within Europe itself. At time of writing, the main support for them – if support is found – comes from within the Council of Ministers, which represents the direct input of national governments into the European Union.
However, at least two commissioners – Meglena Kuneva, commissioner for Consumer Protection, and the Commissioner for Information Society, Viviane Reding – have made recent speeches indicating their commitment to a free and open internet.
These proposals are also likely to come under heavy criticism from the European Parliament, as they may well be in breach of the European Charter of Fundamental rights, Article 10, which states that everyone has the right "to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers".
As for the raid on Wikipedia, Monica Horten has done some of her own sleuthing, and compared the text of the recital accompanying the UK amendment, which sets out a definition of traffic management.
According to an anonymous UK civil servant: "Traffic management policies are the procedures put in place by the provider in order to measure and control traffic on a network link so as to avoid filling the link to capacity or overfilling the link, which would result in network congestion and poor performance."
Whereas, according to Wikipedia, "bandwidth management is the process of measuring and controlling the communications (traffic, packets) on a network link, to avoid filling the link to capacity or overfilling the link, which would result in network congestion and poor performance".
Any similarities between the two versions are without doubt purely coincidental. ®