European Regulators are about to decide whether to give big telecoms corporations the power to influence what we can (and can’t) do online. Europe urgently needs clear net neutrality guidelines to protect our freedoms and rights online.
Specialised Services risk becoming the paid fast-lane for big Internet companies that push every other website, idea and start-up into the slowlane.
Don’t let your Internet provider decide what traffic is important and which online services it slows down, at its own discretion.
The EU Regulation contains good principles to ensure that you can connect to any other point on the net without discrimination. However, some parts of the regulation could be abused to undermine net neutrality. The legislators decided to leave the responsibility for claryifing the uncertainties of the text to the telecoms regulators.
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) has to prepare implementation guidelines to interpret the ambiguities of the law by the end of August 2016. These guidelines will determine whether Europe will enjoy net neutrality or not.
In June 2016, BEREC plans to publish its draft guidelines and launch a public consultation. However, BEREC’s procedural rules say that the public only has from June 6th to July 18th to respond and the Regulation says that BEREC needs to publish its final guidelines on 30 August 2016. That means that citizens will only have a few weeks to respond to the consultation and BEREC will only have a little bit over a month to process the (potentially thousands of) comments, draft updates to its guidelines and then go through the administrative processes to formally agree to any changes that it makes to the draft.
Regulators need to equip themselves with the tools to enforce net neutrality. In Save The Internet, we think BEREC will not have enough time to process and duly take into account potentially tens of thousands of responses (the US telecoms regulator received 3.7 million responses to its consultation!). We can redress the balance by enabling everybody to properly contribute to the guidelines in a more efficient way.
These founders and investors have signed on to the entrepreneur letter for net neutrality in Europe, asking BEREC for strong, clear guidelines without loopholes.
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