Fight for Net Neutrality

EU Regulators follow civil society’s calls to retain strong Net Neutrality protections

Today, the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communication (BEREC) announced the updated version of its implementation guidelines for application of the Net Neutrality regulation in the European Union.

In 2016, BEREC released its first Net Neutrality implementation guidelines, marking the culmination of three years of negotiations for the protection of Net Neutrality in the EU. Following requirements under the Net Neutrality law, these guidelines had to be reviewed and BEREC opened a public consultation process in late 2019 to gather feedback from stakeholders.

In these updates, BEREC followed several recommendations from our comments, including to protect people’s privacy by not allowing the use of filters or so-called deep packet inspection by Internet Services Providers. In addition, the 2016 Net Neutrality safeguards remain in place.

“We commend BEREC’s work on these guidelines and commitment in delivering Net Neutrality protections to the 450 million people living in the EU,” said Estelle Massé, Senior Policy Analyst at Access Now.

But there is still room for improvement. The implementation of the law has been unequal across the EU and zero rating remains a major issue as telcos and online services continue to partner in many countries to offer deals that violate the Net Neutrality principles.

“While BEREC added some new transparency requirements around zero rating, we regret that the regulators did not use this opportunity to clarify, once and for all, that these offers are not allowed under the EU Net Neutrality law,” she added.

Read more on the EU Net Neutrality journey here.