Several European ISPs, some of which operate YouTube competitors, are under investigation by European regulators for intentially slowing down YouTube traffic. AT&T's ham-fisted plan to try and impose troll tolls on content operators (which truly started the net neutrality debate here) has over time seeped into the consciousness of European telcos, who went so far recently as to try and have a new tax imposed on content companies at the UN
. Now some of those same ISPs are being investigated for degrading YouTube performance
Early this year, communications regulator ARCEP will rule on an investigation it opened on November 22 following complaints that video streaming services including YouTube are often too slow to watch. Now three French senators are also calling on the countrys digital economy minister to take action. ARCEP stepped up when a survey of over 16,000 ISP customers by French consumer group UFC Que Chosir found 83 percent of Free customers, 47 percent of Orange customers and 46 percent of SFR customers were unable to use YouTube properly.
It currently remains unclear if this is an issue of anti-competitive behavior or good, old-fashioned network investment and management incompetence. Still, this will be an interesting investigation to watch, particularly if it's proven that the ISPs whining about taxing content companies are shown to be intentionally crippling them.