Xnet – along with other European civil society organisations fighting to ensure the defense of the Net Neutrality in the context of the European Union’s digital policies -condemns the vassal role of many government towards the telcos’ lobbies. In our case, the Spanish government’s role is being played by Pilar del Castillo, Parliament rapporteur on this subject.
The fact that the rapporteur is Spanish makes our responsibility even greater when voicing pressure form civil society so that the interests of both citizens and innovation are defended, instead of the bottlenecks created by and for the big monopolies.
As usual in the field of legislation concerning the digital era; Spain’s position with PPSOE – and the PP in absolute majority – is contrary to the Net Neutrality, defending anachronistic and shortsighted points of view that basically represent Telefónica’s position and interests.
Just one month ago, we celebrated in social networks the historic victory, after years of public pressure, of the FCC’s decision to legally protect the Net Neutrality in the United States. This meant that the Internet must be considered a public good preventing any corporation or government to prioritise who and how can have access to it.
We can not allow the European Union to do just the opposite.
The recent US commitment to defend the Net Neutrality ensures that they will be at the forefront of the development of an open online economy. A European legislation allowing the payment for prioritisation, attempts against citizens’ rights and would be a burden for innovation and digital development in Europe.
The text on which the European Council is working on contains uncertainties and loopholes that clearly undermine the Net Neutrality:
Article 3(3): Providers of electronic communications to the public, including providers of internet access services, shall be free to enter into agreements with end-users, including and/or providers of content, applications and services to deliver a service other than internet access services, which requires a specific level of quality. (emphasis added)
The inability to clearly define which are those “other” services, opens the door to discriminatory business models, for example, by developing ad-hoc services that require that specific quality in order to justify the need of access to a faster Internet.
More in detail, our position can be read in this document developed by EDRI.
We have until April to uncover this situation.
NetNeutrality or barbarism.
Articles of interest:
Net Neutrality: Internet will not be another TV
The logic of common sense on the Net Neutrality
Simona Levi, Xnet, “The byte of poor and a rich should have the same priority”
Obama: “Network neutrality is a fundamental principle and must be protected”
Opinion of Pilar castle on net neutrality