Take Action: Tell EU Regulators to Protect Net Neutrality
Great news! The regulators responsible for defining how Net Neutrality rules are going to be implemented across the EU have released a draft guideline, and it’s pretty good. Now, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is accepting comments on the draft, so we have one last opportunity to make sure Net Neutrality rules in the EU are the strongest possible.
Together, we scored an important victory when the EU Parliament passed the Telecoms Single Market (TSM) with critical protections for Net Neutrality. Now BEREC must ensure that the guidelines for implementing Net Neutrality close the remaining loopholes in the TSM.
We’re almost there: The draft version of the guidelines released last week has an outright ban on “sub-internet” zero rating offers like Facebook’s Free Basics. That’s a huge win. Programmes like that give free access to only part of the internet, and disproportionately discriminate against underprivileged users.
But there’s a problem. The draft takes a different, more ambiguous approach to the type of zero rating programmes that telcos have implemented. In theory, local regulators could interpret the language to disallow the “telco” model for zero rating; after all, these programmes are NOT supposed to reduce users’ choice, violate the freedom to receive and impart information, limit free expression, or reduce media plurality. But while some regulators would enforce the rules properly, others might not have the resources -- or the desire -- to do so. This leaves some internet users at risk of Net Neutrality violations.
That’s where you come in. We are so, so close to getting everything needed for Net Neutrality in the EU. BEREC has already taken a strong stance against zero rating despite enormous pressure from telco companies like Telefónica, Deutche Telecom, and Orange. Now, we need to encourage BEREC to stay strong. Use the sample language we provide to send a customised letter to BEREC. Tell regulators to be clear on every aspect of Net Neutrality.
Act now to put an end to net discrimination in the EU for good.