[…] The online habits of customers like Mr. Herbert, and their ability to pay, are the focus of digital policy legislation on which lawmakers from the European Union’s 28 member countries plan to vote Thursday in Brussels. A key part of the legislation is so-called net neutrality. The rules are meant to ensure equitable access to Internet’s pipelines for services like streaming music, on-demand television and cloud computing. […]
Consumer advocacy groups, meanwhile, say their main concern is that the new rules would make Internet access unaffordable for many Europeans. And they warn that the network economics could end up favoring American juggernauts like Google, Netflix or Amazon, to the detriment of providers of European content and services.
The vote “will either mark an unprecedented advance toward the protection of our fundamental rights, or mark the final days of the open Internet as we know it,” said Félix Tréguer, co-founder of the La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group in Paris. […]