European Union Considering a Ban on Carrier VoIP Filtering

The EU's next technological crusade could be against traffic-blocking cellular carriers, according to a German newspaper. Brussels be warned: you should expect a hell of a fight over this one.

A proposal has already been drafted, challenging carriers who disallow VoIP traffic over their 3G networks. Deconstructed, this kind of selective connection seems fundamentally wrong: these carriers are choosing to block certain data not for traffic management reasons, but to sabotage competing services. But the sheer magnitude of the competitive threat—the possibility that VoIP over cellular data could completely destroy conventional voice services—at least explains why companies do this, and why regulatory bodies have been so reluctant to touch the issue.

At this stage, it's a distant issue for US carriers, much less cell users. But an EU/Trade Commission intervention into the European wireless industry could at least remind US regulators that, yes, filtering wireless data for anticompetitive purposes is actually kind of a dick move. [Handelsblatt via TGDaily]