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Paving the way for net neutrality in Europe

Paving the way for net neutrality in Europe

During the review of the 2002 EU Regulatory Framework, provisions on net neutrality have also found their way into the European law.

According to Recital 28 of the Citizens’ Rights Directive, end-users should be able to decide what content they want to send and receive, and which services, applications, hardware and software they want to use for such purposes, without prejudice to the need to preserve the integrity and security of networks and services.

A competitive market will provide users with a wide choice of content, applications and services. However, national regulatory authorities should promote users’ ability to access and distribute information and to run applications and services of their choice. The issue is also addressed in Aphaia’s first White Paper on End-User Rights.

Ms Neelie Kroes, the EU Information Society Commissioner, recently addressed the issue in her speech in Paris. She said the Commission would hear all interested stakeholders and announced her intention to launch a public consultation before the summer, in order to progress Europe’s net neutrality debate. In that context, she said she was encouraged by the fact the BEREC, the new organisation of European National Regulatory Authorities, already had a project team working on these issues and I look forward to that useful input.

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