The European Parliament is reconsidering Net Neutrality laws, one year after it became law.
A majority vote of the 28 EU states want to change the rules to allow some prioritisation of “special services” that require high quality internet access to function properly.
But a majority of the 28 EU member states in the European council have now voted in favor of changing the rules to bar discrimination in Internet access but allow the prioritization of some “specialized” services that required high quality Internet access to function.
The exact types of services were not defined, but it’s possible they might include connected cars. The EU specified that if service providers did prioritize such services, they would have to ensure a good standard of Web access for consumers.
The proposals did not go unopposed. More than 100 MEPs signed a letter to the Telecoms council that accused it of “lacking ambition”. “Weakened proposals on net neutrality go against the European Parliament’s repeated calls for clear definitions,” it read. “We call on you to have clearly defined net neutrality rules for Europe.”
Marietje Schaake, the net neutrality spokesperson from the fourth largest group of MEPs, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, was even more scathing of the decision. “Current proposals are ambivalent, and can lead to commercial practices that go against consumer interests, against innovative startups, and against fair competition in the digital economy,” she said. “The European Parliament has repeatedly called for strong net neutrality; the Council should show ambition in doing the same.”
The proposals, which also include a postponement of the abolition of roaming charges across member states, have been sent from the European Commission to the European Parliament for consideration this week.