Responses to a European Commission (EC) inquiry on net neutrality were split on the need for regulation, with advocates arguing that preemptive rules are needed to govern traffic management and protect against discriminatory behavior and opponents asserting that competition and market forces will work in tandem to avert abuses. Parties were asked to respond by September 30 on the EC consultative document that seeks input, among other things, on whether (1) a net neutrality problem currently exists in the European Union (EU) broadband market, (2) existing regulations are sufficient to deal with any net neutrality issues that arise in the future, and (3) there is a need for carriers to resort to network traffic prioritization and other traffic management practices. The EC is expected to report its findings to the European Council and the European Parliament later this year. Arguing that the debate on net neutrality focuses on solving a “problem that does not exist in the EU,” the European Internet Services Providers Association advised government authorities simply to continue monitoring the market for changes that could impact Internet competition and innovation. As AT&T cited preliminary findings by U.K. regulator Ofcom that prescriptive rules are not needed to maintain Internet openness, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association maintained that any potential threat to Internet openness would be mitigated as long as consumers are able to choose among competing providers. The European Broadcasting Union asserted, however, a “strong case for regulatory intervention” exists as public broadcasters are vulnerable to discriminatory behavior by network operators that have an incentive to degrade services in the name of traffic management that operators claim is needed to ease network congestion. Bits of Freedom, a digital rights advocacy group based in the Netherlands, agreed, adding that ISPs have resorted to restrictive network management practices as a consequence of their failure to invest in sufficient bandwidth. As EuroISPA declared that the key to effective network management is to provide subscribers with enough information to select among offerings, ENTO described network management as an “indispensible” tool in maintaining broadband networks as a platform for new and innovative services that include telemedicine and 3D television.