Today the European Consumer Organisation BEUC sent a letter to Commissioner Neelie Kroes, urging her to propose net neutrality regulation in the EU. I welcome this initiative, as the need for such rules has been clearly demonstrated by the findings of the investigation completed by BEREC, the European telecom regulator.
My previous initiatives sought to enact net neutrality rules in the EU, just like may party (D66) has proposed in the Netherlands which has since adopted binding regulations. Unfortunately the European Commission has chosen guidance to EU Member States and companies which does not provide sufficient guarantees for consumers and lacks binding rules for companies. My hope is that the appeal from BEUC will mean an extra push for EU wide legislation. This would also ensure a level playing field for telecom providers. Recently, the Dutch Minister responsible for net neutrality in the Netherlands recommended implementing EU rules on net neutrality, based on the BEREC findings.
Net neutrality is the principle that all data should be treated equally on networks, so no discrimination may take place. This is the basic prerequisite for a free and open internet, which stimulates competition, innovation, protects freedom of speech and prevents unfair pricing practices.