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Thursday, November 17, 2011
EU Parliament Calls for Net Neutrality

The European Parliament today approved a call to keep the internet open and neutral, by ensuring that EU telecoms rules are properly enforced.

They also called on the European Commission (EC) to monitor internet traffic management practices, so as to ensure, for example, that end users do not lose their connections whenever networks are congested.

The resolution stresses the need to enforce the EU's telecoms regulatory framework consistently and to monitor internet traffic management practices closely, so as to preserve the open and neutral character of internet.

It would benefit everyone if the European Commission were to provide EU-wide guidelines to ensure that EU telecoms rules on net neutrality are properly applied and enforced, says the text.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also asked the EC to assess, within six months of the publication of a report on an investigation by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), whether further regulation is needed to ensure freedom of expression, freedom of access of information, freedom of choice for consumers and media pluralism.

The Parliament calls on the EC, the Member States and BEREC, "to closely monitor the development of traffic management practices", e.g. to ensure that end users' connections are not disrupted by network congestion, and that "Internet Service Providers do not block, discriminate against or impair the ability of any person to use or offer any service, content or application of their choice irrespective of source or target".

EU ministers plan to adopt conclusions on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council on 13 December 2011.

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