Game over for real net neutrality? European Parliament votes in favor of disappointingly weak rules

Robin Wauters

Robin Wauters

Co-founder and editor-in-chief of Tech.eu, with previous stints at The Next Web and TechCrunch under his belt. Deeply in love with his family, technology, traveling and Belgian beer.
robin@tech.eu

Today, members of the European Parliament voted on a proposal (PDF) for rules affecting how Internet traffic is managed, following the European Commission's release of a draft agreement for regulation back in June. And Europe's lawmakers have decided Europe doesn't need a truly open, free Internet.

European (and American) technology companies and investors, independent observers, academics, thinkers, legal experts, public interest advocates and even the inventor of the World Wide Web had called for amendments to the proposal to make stronger rules and protect real net neutrality, in line with the solid open Internet regulation passed by the FCC in the United States earlier this year.

Alas, the European Parliament has voted against all amendments to a bill on the European single market for electronic communications, failing to properly protect net neutrality in these parts.

That means ISPs will be able to create Internet 'fast lanes' for those who pay to have their content load more rapidly by calling them 'specialized services', exempt applications from users’ monthly bandwidth cap (zero-rating), define 'classes of services' (and discriminate by speeding up or slowing down traffic in those classes) and also to slow down traffic to prevent 'impending congestion' (huh?).

Harmful for European businesses and consumers. Sad day. Missed opportunity.

See tweets below and additional coverage on Ars Technica and elsewhere.

Featured image credit: Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock

Share this:
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Get exclusive access to news, data and actionable insights on the European Tech innovation ecosystem(s)

By subscribing to Tech.eu, you gain instant access to curated European technology news, market intelligence and interviews with leading startup founders, investors and more. Sign up now in under a minute to deepen your knowledge on the European Tech innovation ecosystems on a daily basis.