03/04/2014 EURO-MPs have today backed a series of amendments to proposed rules on electronic communications to ensure ‘net neutrality’.
They have backed Green proposals to ensure that Internet access can’t just be provided by established telecommunications firms – and that the ‘content’ users receive must be genuinely open: not just restricted to those services chosen by ISPs.
London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert said she was delighted with the decision: and said the ball was now in the court of EU ministers who will make a final decision on the so-called ‘Single Digital Market package’ later this year.
She said: “Thankfully, a majority of MEPs has seen sense today and voted to uphold the principle of net neutrality in the EU.
“The proposals by the Commission, which would essentially have given large providers the all-clear for discriminating against users as they see fit, have been revised. Today’s vote would explicitly provide for net neutrality and will hopefully ensure a level playing field for all online services and users, providing for a more open internet environment in which innovation is encouraged.
“Information online should not be subject to discrimination, blocking or interference by internet access providers. This is what net neutrality implies: guaranteeing an open and free internet, where everyone can have access and contribute to the same online information. Clearly, today’s vote is important but we will have to remain vigilant to ensure any future threats to net neutrality can be headed off.”