“Today’s vote on the Telecoms Single Market package in the European Parliament constitutes a broken promise both on the end of roaming surcharges and the establishment of net neutrality”, says Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party and shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA group in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

“The European Parliament’s first reading position in April 2014 proposed far-reaching provisions for the introduction of net neutrality in Europe. In the end, not even the words ‘net neutrality’ survived the closed-door negotiations with the Commission and the Council. The text leaves open critical loopholes. Today, the Parliament decided not to adopt opposition amendments that could have fixed these shortcomings.

“The internet’s open structure is what made it the successful driver of growth and innovation in the digital economy and digital culture that it is today. That providers will be allowed to discriminate against certain traffic not only creates a two-tier internet, it also removes incentives for carriers to extend their capacities.

“The permission of ‘zero-rating’ allows certain services to be be vastly privileged. This practice is considered legally questionable and problematic for journalistic competitiveness by, among others, the German regulation authority Landesmedienanstalt Nordrhein-Westfalen. Legislation against zero-rating such as it exists in the Netherlands and Slovenia is rendered invalid by today’s vote.

“Over the past weeks, efforts among civil society to raise awareness on amendments in favour of net neutrality had intensified. Yesterday, WWW-inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee joined experts like Stanford professor Barbara van Schewick and Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig in an urgent call for closing the loopholes in the regulation.

“Despite all this, the regulation was passed unchanged by a majority in plenary today, a decision that may have been influenced by the public’s attention for the provision on the elimination of roaming surcharges that was included in the legislative package. Unfortunately, the Telecoms Single Market package doesn’t deliver in that respect either. The plan to place an end to roaming surcharges in Europe has been adopted pending a review of pricing and consumption patterns. Even if the review is completed by the 15 June 2017 deadline, roaming surcharges will only be suspended up to a ‘fair use’ limit beyond which they still apply and continue to hinder the breaking down of barriers within Europe.”

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  1. 1

    Dear Julia,

    Thank you for the work you are doing in the EU Parliament. I had voted for the Swedish pirates for many years, and I am disappointed that they didn’t get into the last time, but glad that you are there fighting the good fight.

    I had written a lot of MEPs in the days before the vote on net neutrality. I wish I could have done more. If I see more opportunities to do so, I will.

    In the meantime, good luck and all the best to you,

  2. 2
    philip gordon

    thank you for trying!

  3. 3
    Adrian Pobdar

    Thank you for trying so much :D . You are an incredible woman.
    Keep up the good work .

  4. 4

    Never give up!

  5. 5

    Disappointed by this EU vote. Who are they working for?

    Thanks for your work, Julia!

  6. 6

    I’d be a fool to be in favor of ending roaminlg charges. Those who camnot afford to travek will foot the Communications Bills of those who can. Local charges will increase.

    As a consumer of health services, i’d be a fool to be in favor of net neutrality, as downloading cat Videos in the beighborhood of my hospital can impede the remote and innovative ehealth services / remote surgery assistance while I am on the operating table.

    • Christopher Clay

      In practice, this is a non-issue. Remote surgery is not done via the internet but via specialised connections.

  7. 7

    is there anything that can be done to prevent this from going through? Or does a new law have to be drafted to counter this one?

    • Christopher Clay

      Hello – the detailed interpretation is up to the national regulators (and their pan-European network BEREC). We can petition them to interpret the law in the most restrictive way.

  8. 8

    What exactly are these representatives doing? Well, I guess you know already: they are there for the companies, not for the people. This is once again made clear by yesterday’s vote whereby roaming costs were weighed against net neutrality, two completely different things that should not be combined

  9. 9
    Simeon Williams

    Thank you for not giving up! Also for the english translation.