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Net Neutrality Consultation: LQDN Denounces Failed Wait-and-See Approach

Paris, 2nd of November 2011 — La Quadrature du Net publishes today its response1 to the BEREC consultation2 on “transparency and Net Neutrality”. BEREC and the European Commission must move past the failed “wait-and-see” approach championed by Commissioner Neelie Kroes by adopting EU-wide Net neutrality regulation. Citizens can help protect the Internet by responding to the consultation3 and refusing “transparency” as a solution to Net Neutrality violations.

BEREC4, the EU Telecoms regulator, has released its draft “guidelines on transparency and Net neutrality”5 and opened a consultation. These guidelines propose letting operators manage their networks without any consideration for Net Neutrality, as long as they document their practices, arguing that “transparency” will enable customers to choose. Yet, the shortcomings of the of the wait-and-see approach defended by both BEREC and the European Commission are abundantly clear: it mimics the already failed policy of OFCOM, the UK regulator, and will fail in the same manner, as it does not guarantee EU citizens a real possibility to switch to a neutral operator.

As the RespectMyNet.eu6 reporting platform clearly shows, Net neutrality violations are becoming widespread across EU Internet access markets, in particular in the wireless sector. These violations harm fundamental rights, competition and innovation in the digital economy, and the regulators' lenient attitude towards such harmful traffic management practices deters investment in broadband networks, both fixed and mobile.

“The EU Commission and its commissioner Neelie Kroes once showed7 strong commitment to preserving Net neutrality. They are now backing down with their wait-and-see approach, having failed to propose any tangible action. It is time for this ambivalence to end, and for Net neutrality to be protected across Europe. BEREC must swiftly release a comprehensive and objective study on ongoing discriminatory traffic management practices, as required by the EU Parliament8, so that the need for further regulation can be clearly established. Concerned citizens should respond to the BEREC consultation to denounce its wait-and-see approach and the offer of “transparency” as a magic bullet for solving Net neutrality violations!” declared Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net.

Download la Quadrature's response to the BEREC consultation.

Send your response to BEREC's consultation and denounce the wait-and-see approach which falsely pretends that mere transparency can safeguard the Internet's openness. Deadline for the responses is Wednesday 2nd of November 2011, but responses are likely to be accepted until the end of the week. Send your open worded responses to berec[a]ec.europa.eu or see our campaign page for more information.