[A2k] Net Neutrality: Improvements Are Still Possible

La Quadrature du Net contact at laquadrature.net
Thu Jul 16 04:51:16 PDT 2015


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/net-neutrality-improvements-are-still-possible

Net Neutrality: Improvements Are Still Possible

*** Paris, 16 July 2015 — European Parliament's [ITRE commission][1] endorses the compromise 
adopted during the trialogue on 30 June regarding the regulation on telecommunications. Despite 
the improvements brought to the text compared to the Council's version, the regulation still 
contains loopholes and inaccuracies that could violate people's and SME's rights.***

The ITRE commission of the European Parliament adopted the [compromise text][2] of the trialogue 
of last 30 June which presents non-negligible improvements and ensure an equal and 
non-discriminatory traffic management while providing Internet access services. This evolution 
has been fiercely fought against by the Council who opposed, until the end, any mention to the 
expression "Net Neutrality" in the text.

The European Parliament has worked very hard to keep a text protecting rights and innovation. 
Despite its efforts, a number of loopholes or ambiguities remain:

  * The guarantees on specialised services only appear in the recitals and not in the text 
itself. This leaves a large margin of appreciation to the regulating authorities and thus a risk 
of a non-uniform implementation regarding the countries [3]
  * Price discrimination and "zero rating" practices are not mentioned in the text and two 
interpretations are possible: either those practices are not covered by the regulation and it 
will be to Member States and regulating authorities to legislate on this, or those practices are 
covered and not especially forbidden which would be an unacceptable violation to the neutrality 

Moreover, a point raises major concerns: censorship through administrative blocking of websites, 
to which La Quadrature du Net is [strongly opposed][4], is authorised in the text. We call on 
MEPs to put an end to this judicial circumvention in the final text, as it potentially carries 
major infringements of freedom of speech.

_**"This compromise is more positive than what the Council's position could have let us hope for, 
but its imperfections could be leaving too much room to the telecom companies to circumvent Net 
Neutrality. The leeway given to the regulating authorities on the regulation's interpretation 
leaves concerns on an heterogeneous implementation which could disadvantage some citizens and 
SMEs and would go against the Digital Single Market wanted by the European Commission. Few 
amendments proposed by MEPs before the plenary vote could fill the loopholes in this text and 
return to a balance beneficial for everyone as well as for the innovation and digital development 
in the European Union"**_ said Agnès de Cornulier, policy and legal analysis coordinator at La 
Quadrature du Net.

**See [our analysis][5] on La Quadrature du Net's wiki** 

**See [the co-signed analysis][6] written by EDRI, Access, Bits of Freedom and IT Politisk 
Forening **

* References *

   [1]: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/itre/members.html
   [2]: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/net-neutrality-trialogue-betrayed-european-parliaments-vote
   [3]: The conditions for the implementation of specialised services, among which some are not 
defined in the recitals, are the following:
	* The optimisation must be necessary to ensure specific features of the content, 
applications or services for a specific level of quality
	* The general capacity of the network must be sufficient in order to provide those 
services beside an access to the Internet
	* Those services must not be provided as a substitution to an Internet access service
	* The specific quality of service level must not be assured by internet access service 
	* The optimisation must be necessary to ensure a specific quality to one or more features 
of the content, of the application or the service (recital)
	* The optimisation must not be a mean for the prioritisation of a content, of an 
application or a similar service on the Internet, thus circumventing the provisions on traffic 
management (recital).

   [4]: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/france-implements-administrative-net-censorship
   [5]: https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Trilogue/Trilogue_neutralit%C3%A9_du_net
   [6]: https://edri.org/files/NN_analysis_20150715.pdf

** About La Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and freedoms of citizens on the 
Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations 
to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of 
legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La 
Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and 
freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the 
Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations: 

** Press contact and press room **

contact at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)972 294 426


More information about the A2k mailing list