A NUMBER of UK internet service providers (ISPs) have joined a code of good online practice, but three others - Vodafone, Virgin Media and Everything Everywhere - have chosen to abstain.
Firms that have signed up to the 'open internet' code are promising to be nice and play fair and not use traffic management practices to restrict or block their customers' use of competitors' services.
Signers include BT, BSkyB, O2, Talktalk and six others, and they have shaken hands with the government and promised to make it easy for each other to do business, without any threat of punishment if they do not.
"This voluntary agreement is great news for consumers. It marks a significant commitment from leading ISPs to uphold the principles of an open internet and gives certainty to their customers," said Communications Minister Ed Vaizey.
"The internet has been built on openness and low barriers to entry, and this agreement will ensure that continues. By committing to transparency, these ISPs are empowering their customers to make informed decisions about the services they want."
The foot dragging ISPs, however, can't see the point in signing an agreement that is a bit wooly and unproven, and at least one said that for now joining was only under review.
"As the market and content delivery models are still evolving, we believe it is too early to know how a code of this type will affect customers' internet experience, but it is something that we will continually review," said a spokesperson for Everything Everywhere..
"That said, we support the principle of the open internet and believe transparency is the way to achieve this, which is why last year we signed up to the Broadband Stakeholders Group's code of practice on traffic management in order to make our policies clear to customers." µ