European Parliament rejects net neutrality amendments

A vote from the European Parliament was passed today, agreeing on net neutrality laws without amendments

The European Parliament has voted for net neutrality in spite of calls for amendments to some of the wording present in the rules that some have argued could threaten its effectiveness.

The legislation as it exists has been called "too vague", reports BBC News, and could leave companies with the ability to set up unfair deals with internet service providers (ISPs), critics claim, which could then have a knock-on effect for start-ups and smaller companies without the ability to pay for preferential treatment.

Advertisement - Article continues below

This change could see smaller firms struggle to compete with large established companies, in areas such as video streaming or gaming, and would significantly impact innovation as a result. Concerns from various organisations (including Allied for Startups, Kickstarter, Netflix and Reddit) were raised in an open letter released this week.

The Body of European Regulators (BEREC) now has nine months to submit their guidelines to government bodies in the UK.

Joe McNamee, executive director of pressure group European Digital Rights, said: "The European Parliament has avoided making decisions on all crucial points. Now, national regulators will have to decide on abuses imposed through zero rating', on rules on congestion management, on specialised services and so on.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"We will engage with BEREC and the Commission to provide clarity in the interpretation of the rules. Hopefully the vagueness of the regulation can be fixed by BEREC's guidelines and through diligent enforcement by national telecoms regulators."

Advertisement - Article continues below

Abuses through the legislation's perceived ambiguity could also manifest in things such as zero rating' agreements, which would allow customers to access websites for free outside of their individual data plans.

There was concern than net neutrality would prevent governments from blocking access to certain websites, potentially delaying PM David Cameron's plans to ban ISPs from allowing users to access porn sites by default.

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft warns users not to install Windows 10's May update

28 May 2020
data breaches

EasyJet faces class-action lawsuit over data breach

26 May 2020
cyber security

Microsoft bans Trend Micro driver from Windows 10 for "cheating" hardware tests

27 May 2020