The EU's impending Net Neutrality rules are terrible, but they can be fixed

Barbara van Schewick from the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society sums up the problems with Europe's impending Net Neutrality rules, which are anything but neutral, and have loopholes in them you could squeeze a continent through — and then, she suggests some simple, sensible amendments that would fix them.

The rules are coming up for vote next Tuesday, which is plenty of time to fix things, assuming the EU has the political will to stand up for the public interest over the interests of the telecoms giants who want to hold the Internet to ransom.

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• Problem #1: The proposal allows ISPs to create fast lanes for companies that pay through the specialized services exception.

• Problem #2: The proposal generally allows zero-rating and gives regulators very limited ability to police it, leaving users and companies without protection against all but the most egregious cases of favoritism.

• Problem #3: The proposal allows class-based discrimination, i.e. ISPs can define classes and speed up or slow down traffic in those classes even if there is no congestion.

• Problem #4: The proposal allows ISPs to prevent "impending" congestion. That makes it easier for them to slow down traffic anytime, not just during times of actual congestion.

Europe Is About to Adopt Bad Net Neutrality Rules. Here's How to Fix Them
[Barbara van Schewick/Medium]

(Image: parlament europejski bruksela 2, Alina Zienowicz, CC-BY-SA)