Home > All, Politics > Kroes version of net neutrality shot down by Parliament and replaced by true net neutrality

Kroes version of net neutrality shot down by Parliament and replaced by true net neutrality

Well the Greens, Social Democrats, Lefties and Liberals — and let’s not forget Pirate Amelia Andersdotter — did it. The Neelie Kroes version of net neutrality has been consigned to the rubbish bin, for the time being at least. Kroes can still boast a success since her overall Regulation on the Single Telecoms Market package was adopted by the European Parliament by a massive 534 votes to 25, with 58 abstentions. But the amendments included to protect the internet from Kroes buddy telecoms firms were largely accepted.

Genuine net neutrality will, all being well, become law throughout the European Union rather than limited to The Netherlands and Slovenia. The UK won’t be happy, but I long ago started to support anything that the UK government doesn’t like; because you can guarantee that will be the best option for the people.

On the basis of this vote, the telecoms companies will only be able to restrict bandwidth to fulfil a court order, protect security or temporarily manage bandwidth. They will not be able to deliver their best services to large companies who pay more for them, leaving smaller companies (and consumers) to struggle on slower services. The industry says this will stifle innovation — which seems strange when their proposals could strangle the new, small, innovative companies struggling to get started.

Like the Data Protection Regulation, which was also accepted by a huge majority earlier this year, it won’t become law until endorsed by the European Council (that is, the national governments). This vote is expected in October; and like the Data Protection Regulation, it is likely to be resisted by the UK.

All governments are more susceptible to big business lobbying than is the European Parliament (you may recall that it was the Parliament that shot down ACTA even after the European Commission and many of the national governments — including, you got it, the UK — had already signed). So between now and October there will be renewed and furious lobbying from the telecoms firms who can see the possibility of increased profits dwindling.

You can guarantee that the UK is already on their side.

Categories: All, Politics
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