Earlier this month members of the European Union reached an agreement regarding reform of telecommunications laws. EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding said:
The reform will substantially enhance consumer rights and consumer choice in Europe's telecoms markets, and add new guarantees to ensure the openness and neutrality of the Internet.
Tuesday, The New York Times reported the EU has indeed adopted the telecom reform package. The move has been two years in the making, and it would have been derailed had stakeholders not reached the agreement struck a few weeks ago. Under the reform package, incumbent operators will have to compete fairly with smaller rivals or risk having their networks separated from their service divisions, writer Paul Meller explains. Telecom operators also will be obligated to allow customers to take their numbers with them to smaller carriers "without delay."
Though regulators in each member nation will enforce the new requirements, an EU regulator may step in if the local regulators aren't adequately policing their own networks.
And, of course, all this happens as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is also considering net neutrality requirements. The difference on this side of the pond is that those on the two sides of the debate here seem nowhere near a compromise.