UK: net neutrality debate likely to resurface as major telecom operator introduces zero-rating data plan

The net neutrality debate is likely to resurface in the UK, following the decision of mobile telecom operator Virgin Media to introduce 4G mobile services allowing users to access WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger without using up their data allowance. Although this is a zero-rating scheme, Virgin Media has reportedly declared that its plan does not infringe European net neutrality rules, because users can only access WhatsApp and Messenger when they have data left in their monthly plan, and because there is no blocking or throttling or content, and no prioritization of WhatsApp or Messenger traffic. The operator has also said that it is open to including other messaging platforms in the offer.