In a speech at a European policy event, European Union Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes proclaimed that competition among Internet service providers (ISPs) combined with a new telecom regulatory framework adopted by the European Commission (EC) last year should preserve an open Internet without the need for net neutrality rules that could “deter investment and an efficient use of available resources.” Kroes’ remarks before the EC and European Parliament summit on “The Open Internet and Net Neutrality in Europe” stand in contrast with efforts by the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress to establish a net neutrality policy regime in the U.S. (Toward that end, and in response to the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling last April in the Comcast-BitTorrent case, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed classifying the transmission component of broadband Internet networks as a Title II communications service.) Emphasizing her support for open Internet principles, Kroes noted that revisions to EC telecom regulations that are scheduled to go into effect next May provide for “network and service competition” on which open networks rely. As such, Kroes predicted that “the system as a whole, comprising multiple operators, should ensure that European consumers are able to easily access and distribute content, services and applications of their choice” via Internet networks. While acknowledging that “throttling” or selective blockage of web sites and applications and differentiated pricing of certain web applications “continues to a certain extent,” Kroes said that consumers “should not underestimate their own power in shaping this situation.” Using the example of the dataintensive Skype web-calling service for which some European ISPs impose an extra monthly fee, Knoes advised, “I say to those people who are currently cut off from Skype: vote with your feet and leave your . . . provider.” Kroes also argued that ISPs are justified in exercising some degree of web traffic management over their networks to optimize delivery of eLearning and other specialized applications, as she added that such practices should be “used properly, in order to increase the quality of Internet services, preserve network integrity and open the way to new investments.” While voicing hope that “implementation of the telecom framework by member states will pave the way for truly open networks,” Kroes cautioned: “if we encounter significant and persistent problems, I will not be afraid to change the laws.”