Today, the European Parliament voted through a proposal for a Regulation that includes robust provisions on net neutrality. We welcome the decision by the Parliament to follow recommendations put forward by the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and other civil society groups. CDT issued the following statement in response to the vote:
“The European Parliament’s vote improves the original Commission proposal and the text adopted by the lead ITRE Committee in March in important ways. Notably, the Parliament voted to include a clearly phrased principle of non-discrimination for Internet traffic. This was the right thing to do. Internet service providers should not be in a position to pick winners among companies providing services over the open Internet, and the adopted text is an effective safeguard against such behavior,” said Jens Henrik-Jeppesen, CDT Director for European Affairs.
The Parliament also tightened the language on network management, introducing a stronger safeguard against misuse of legitimate congestion management techniques for purely commercial purposes, which was is an incremental improvement on the original proposal. Additionally, The Parliament adopted text that appropriately recognizes that open and nondiscriminatory services may coexist with non-Internet or “specialized” services. Specialized services are likely to be an area for further debate as the proposal moves forward.
CDT welcomed the Commission’s decision last summer to issue draft legislation with open Internet provisions, and also called for additional safeguards to be added. Member States will now review and amend the draft legislation. “We commend the steps taken by Parliament today. The text now on the table is a good basis for the next step in the legislative process,” Jeppesen concluded.