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ISPs defend plans for two-tier net

ISPs have defended their right to operate a two-speed internet, at a key debate into the future of the web. The debate was organised by the government, which is keen to see the principles of a free and equal net maintained. ISPs are increasingly looking to prioritise some traffic on their networks and block some. After the meeting the BBC called for the creation of a broadband content group to represent content providers. It, along with content providers such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Skype, is growing increasingly concerned about how the issue of net neutrality is being dealt with. Net neutrality - the principle that all net traffic should be treated equally - has been challenged in recent years as ISPs look to make a return on their increasingly expensive networks. They argue that if content providers want to pay to get their traffic prioritised on the network, then they should be allowed to do so. But some content owners and digital activists such as Open Rights Group argue that such a policy would do long-term damage to the internet, which was always conceived as a platform for everyone - not just those with deep pockets.

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