PRESS RELEASE published on 27 Oct 2015

EBU welcomes EU net neutrality compromise and calls for staunch implementation

The European Broadcasting Union believes that the adoption today by the European Parliament of a single, identical set of rules for net neutrality in Europe is a step in the right direction for the Digital Single Market. The final compromise on the Single Telecoms Market regulation, the result of almost 2 years of intense negotiations at EU level, offers a workable solution.

EBU Head of European Affairs Nicola Frank said: “If you look at the big picture, this compromise is a step forward; the text adopted today contains a basic and robust set of rules safeguarding net neutrality for over half a billion people.”

“Many observers have pointed out that there are still many grey zones in the final Regulation” she added. “A lot now will depend on how the rules are implemented in practice by National Regulatory Authorities. Key issues such as media pluralism on the Internet and innovation in the digital economy are at stake. It is important that the National Regulatory Authorities take their responsibilities with a consistent and firm application of the rules, and that network operators are fully transparent towards the authorities as well as towards consumers.”

EBU net neutrality principles

From the beginning, the EBU has supported the adoption of strong and clear net neutrality rules at the EU level which should be duly reflected with 5 principles:

  • Prevent undue blocking or discrimination of Internet traffic;
  • Define the specific cases in which network operators can manage Internet traffic;
  • Ensure that equivalent types of traffic are treated equally;
  • Ensure that the development of specialised services does not impair the quality  and availability of the open Internet access services;
  • Ensure clear transparency requirements on ISPs to reinforce users’ trust in the open Internet.

Once the Single telecoms Market Regulation enters into force, National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) will have the responsibility to closely monitor compliance with the rules and promote the continued availability of non-discriminatory Internet access, at quality levels which reflect advances in technology. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC), whose role is to assist the European Commission implement telecoms rules, will determine guidelines for implementing NRAs' obligations in the field of enforcement and transparency in the course of 2016.

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