Regulator seizes new Brexit opportunity


In the Media

Julian Jessop quoted in The Telegraph

Housing and Planning

Kristian Niemietz writes for The Telegraph

Matthew Lesh writes for CapX

IEA Director of Public Policy and Communications Matthew Lesh has written for CapX discussing Ofcom’s decision to change its approach to net neutrality to one which diverges from EU law.

Matthew wrote:

“Net neutrality refers to rules that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating in the delivery of web traffic. In practice, this means the likes of BT, Virgin, or Vodafone cannot block, slow down or speed up any particular type of content or service.

“Advocates claim these rules are necessary to ensure the internet remains free, open and accessible. However, critics have long argued that they are unnecessary (as ISPs have no incentive to limit your access to the web) and undermine legitimate efforts to manage network traffic and offer innovative deals to consumers.

“A study in 2015 undertaken by the independent consultancy WIK found that the ‘competitive pressures seem to be working’ to prevent ISPs from blocking or throttling legal content and/or applications’. This objection came to nothing, however. In 2016, the UK was required to adopt the European Union’s Open Internet Access Regulation, which mandates net neutrality.

“So, in sum, the UK never wanted or needed this regulation, was forced to accept it as part of EU membership, and has retained it post-Brexit.”

Read Matthew’s full piece here.

In December 2022, Matthew wrote Expanding the Web: The case against net neutrality.