CEO Ronan Dunne pitches anti net-neutrality plan

O2 advocates charging web sites for mobile traffic costs

Ronan Dunne, boss of mobile network O2, said that the firm wants to charge ‘big companies’ to pay for delivering web site content to users of O2’s network.

Dunne made the commands at the Westminster eForum yesterday according to a ZDNet report, alleging that moves to charge web sites for data were necessary to keep networks running smoothly as data usage continues to climb. Dunne also complained that users demanding more data meant that unlimited ‘one size fits all’ bundles were no longer feasible.

Coming out firmly against the concept of Net neutrality, Dunne said that "Competition will help us ensure that democracy does continue to thrive on the internet, even if we do have to manage traffic.” Dunne also appeared to shift the blame of network congestion away from mobile network operators overselling their capacity and onto web site operators that would be incentivised to reduce their usage of network capacity if they were forced to “pay their share.”

Speaking at length about the need to move away from one-size-fits-all data allowances, Dunne said that the issue was “not just an argument about raising money for infrastructure; it’s also about fairness — a tiny proportion of people use a very significant proportion of available bandwidth.”

Several network operators including O2, Vodafone and TalkTalk have argued for tiered pricing but none have yet introduced the new pricing model, likely fearing the impact it would have becoming the first network operator to do so. 

ZDNet has more of Dunne’s comments.

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