22:21 GMT17 February 2020
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    The German Chancellor has come out in favor of an internet which runs at different speeds for different services.

    MOSCOW, December 5 (Sputnik) –  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has endorsed the idea of a two speed Internet, saying that such a system will help encourage innovation and the development of certain special services which use the web.

    “These special services will expand and develop only when predictable standards of quality for their provision are reached,” Merkel said in a speech Thursday to the Digitising Europe conference, held in Berlin by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, reports die Welt.

    The Chancellor highlighted services such as driverless cars and telemedicine, in which clinical support is delivered to the patient from healthcare providers at a distance, as those which require preferential treatment and internet connection speeds.

    In her speech, the chancellor called for a legislative balance between the principle of a free Internet, and the needs of key services: “These two sides have to come together and I think that in the near future we will succeed in getting that arrangement to the negotiation stage in Brussels,” she declared, according to Zeit.de.

    The debate about ‘net neutrality’ versus a two tier system of provision, in which some internet traffic gets greater priority and faster speeds, is ongoing in Brussels. In July 2013 the EU Commission announced an intention to allow a two tier Internet, but in April this year the European Parliament approved regulations to safeguard net neutrality as part of wider legislation aimed at creating a single market for telecoms in the EU.

    Merkel’s comments on Thursday will put wind in the sails of internet providers, who argue for a two tier Internet that will allow them to give preference to some content over others, and charge higher prices for faster speeds. Campaigners for net neutrality believe that a two tier Internet goes against the principle of an open Internet, in which all data is treated equally.

    Related:

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