Net Neutrality, long the realm of economic theorists and Internet rights activists, has taken a step toward practical reality thanks to a new law passed in the Netherlands. The Dutch have banned cellular network providers from charging customers extra for accessing certain web services, making the European nation the second in the world (after Chile) to enact Net Neutrality laws.
The issue went to the courts after the Dutch service provider KPN announced plans earlier this year to charge its customers a fee for using data-intensive apps like WhatsApp, which allow customers to skate by text messaging limits with free over-the-air SMS. Under the new law, such tiered pricing for use of particular apps and sites becomes illegal.
Efforts to bring similar Net Neutrality laws to the United States have long been tied up in congress, thanks in large part to opposition from industry lobbyists.