Monday, September 29, 2008

EU News

The European Parliament is one of those governmental bodies who you either love or hate and often at the same time!
Last week appears to be a good one for them in that they firstly voted to prevent EU member states from imposing a "three strikes" rule on unauthorised file sharers. This is the second time around and although the majority was reduced common sense prevailed and the law to compel ISPs to disconnect file sharers who are caught sharing or downloading copyrighted material online three times was again defeated. However the French government has already implemented its own three strikes law – nothing new there then!

In response to the rapid growth of broadband has led the European Commission to bring forward a review of Europeans telecoms services. Currently around 36% of EU households have high-speed net access and although this is growing annually at a rate of 20%, the Commission want broadband availability to be a basic right for all EU citizens by 2010.

The big issue is the disparity between states with nations such as Denmark, Luxembourg and Belgium, offering 100% broadband availability against only 60% availability in Romania. Even in Germany and Italy, around 12% of the population is not covered by high-speed access.

The Commission is now inviting submissions from telecoms firms and, governments with the aim of producing a directive in 2009 and potentially legislation in 2010.

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