European negotiations start on open internet rules

European talks have begun on new rules designed to safeguard open internet access and cut mobile phone roaming fees. 

The Latvian presidency of the European Council was yesterday granted a mandate by member states at the Permanent Representatives Committee to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the new rules.

Draft regulations on the open internet include the principle of end-users’ “right to access and distribute content of their choice on the internet.” It is also designed to make sure companies that provide internet access treat traffic “in a non-discriminatory manner” – the main principle behind net neutrality.

“It sets common rules on traffic management, so that the internet can continue to function, grow and innovate without becoming congested,” said the European Commission.

“Blocking or slowing down specific content or applications will be prohibited, with only a limited number of exceptions and only for as long as it is necessary.  For instance, customers may request their operator to block spam. Blocking could also be necessary to prevent cyber attacks through rapidly spreading malware.”

Tags: EC, EU, Regulation