EU net neutrality up for a vote next week: Here’s how to fix the proposal

(credit: jeffowenphotos)

On Tuesday next week, October 27, the European Parliament will vote in Strasbourg on rules that are supposed to protect net neutrality in the EU. The proposed text emerged from the so-called “trilogue” meeting between the European Commission, European Parliament, and the EU Council held in June to reach a “compromise” text taking into account the differing views held by the three institutions. However, there are serious problems with the compromise rules, and in the run-up to the vote next week, digital activists are urging the public to contact MEPs to ask them to support amendments that will fix the main issues.

Save the Internet,” a rather pointedly named website, has been put together by NGOs around Europe that are concerned about the impact the new net neutrality rules could have. As well as informing the public, it is designed to make it easy to contact MEPs, using e-mail, tweets, or even a free phone service. The site singles out four main aspects of the compromise text that need addressing: specialised services; zero-rating; class-based discrimination; and network congestion management.

The US academic Barbara van Schewick, Professor of Law and Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, agrees with Save the Internet’s analysis of the main problems. In an article posted on Medium this week she suggests ways in which they can be fixed by MEPs when it comes to the vote next week.

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