European Parliament to decide on the future of the open Internet
The Internet has changed our society, enhanced our freedoms and our economy. One of the main reasons for this is the openness of the Internet – anyone has the potential to communicate with anyone, without permission and without discrimination. This is the essence of the neutral, open Internet. This is net neutrality.
This openness is now under threat, as telecoms operators seek to restrict Internet access and thereby boost their short-term profits – replacing neutrality with restrictions, barriers and complexity.
We have waited for years for concrete proposals to enshrine the net neutrality principle in European Union law. Since 2010, there has also been an increasing number of calls from the European Parliament to guarantee net neutrality. Finally, in September 2011, the European Commission has proposed a draft Regulation which aims at protecting the open internet in Europe. Vice President Neelie Kroes repeatedly stated that this proposal would include the “right to net neutrality”.
The good news is that it only takes a few modifications to turn the Commission’s proposal into a meaningful means of protecting net neutrality, thereby ensuring that the Internet remains a barrier-free single market and a unique platform for social and cultural activity and democratic discourse.
The amendments can be downloaded here (pdf).