Response to questions on net neutrality (update October 2015)

Molly and her Greens-EFA colleagues in the European Parliament agree that a free, neutral internet is of vital importance for the free circulation of knowledge, ideas and information. This issue is one not only of economic development and innovation, but also of social development and access to independent media, amongst many other issues. The EU Telecoms Single Market regulation needs significant improvement if it is to guarantee an open internet to citizens.

Greens agree that there are a number of amendments necessary to strengthen net neutrality, guard against network discrimination and interference, and ensure equal treatment of traffic. A series of amendments have been supported by Michel Reimon, Molly’s Greens-EFA colleague and spokesperson for the Greens on issues of Internet and Digital Rights. His amendments, to be voted on this week in Strasbourg, ensure a clear definition of net neutrality, and remove any scope for discrimination or interference which remains in this legislation.

In advance of the Parliamentary vote, Michel Reimon warned;

“We have six days until the vote in the European Parliament, to save Net Neutrality from Gunter Oettinger (EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society). So far only the Netherlands and Slovenia have national laws guaranteeing net neutrality. If Oettinger’s proposal finds a majority in the Parliament, these would be in breach of EU law – these two Member States would have to revoke these laws, and other Member States could no longer enact laws to protect net neutrality. Profitable, favoured specialised services would be allowed. The big telecoms companies would have won. ( … ) I urge you to vote for a free, neutral internet and to vote against Oettinger’s proposals.” (Translated from German; see original)

In this same EU Telecoms Single Market regulation, Greens are also concerned that the much-vaunted abolition of roaming charges could be delayed; or worse, roaming could merely be replaced by charges of another name. Greens will be pushing to remove any loopholes which allow these unjustified roaming charges to continue.

Greens stand for net neutrality and against monopolistic behavior in telecommunications. In the vote on the 27th October, please be assured that Molly and her Greens-EFA colleagues will support the amendments 2-24 proposed by Michel Reimon, fighting to ensure free and neutral internet for all.