Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The EU Approves Net Neutrality

The European parliament approved the "Open access to internet" rules (see "The EU 'Enshrines Net Neutrality’s no Blocking or Throttling Rules'" - here and the proposal's text here).

"The new law will oblige firms offering internet access to treat all traffic equally, i.e. not to block or slow delivery of content, applications or services from selected senders or to selected receivers, unless this is necessary to obey court orders, comply with laws, prevent network congestion or combat cyber-attacks. If such traffic management measures are needed, they will have to be "transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate" and may not last for longer than necessary.

An operator will nonetheless be able to offer specialized services (such as the improved internet quality needed for certain services), but only on condition that this does not have an impact on general internet quality". 

In addition - "MEPs ensured that internet providers will have to give users who are about to sign fixed or mobile internet contracts a clear explanation of what download and upload speeds (compared to the advertised speed) they can usually expect. 

Any significant discrepancy that is continuous or occurs regularly will trigger a right to remedies such as terminating the contract or getting compensation. The national regulatory authorities will be responsible for verifying whether the difference is a breach of contract or not"

See "End in sight for mobile phone “roaming” fees and unequal internet access" - here.

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