Europe Says ‘No’ to Net Neutrality

Net neutrality remains a hot-button topic amongst those in the technology sector; After all, the regulation is the biggest change to Internet policy since World Wide Web’s inception.

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in favor of net neutrality,  a ruling that preserves the public’s right to communicate freely online by banning Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging extra fees to content providers that can afford to pay for preferential treatment. For example, big-name companies like Amazon and Netflix could shell out big bucks to ISPs in exchange for a quick connection, while other cash-strapped companies get poorer connections.

While proponents of the controversial directive say that all Internet traffic should be treated equal, it’s no secret that ISPs, like Comcast and Verizon, aren’t fans of net neutrality. Such companies contend that the FCC is overstepping its boundaries and doesn’t have the authority to rewrite the rules of the Internet. In fact, various telecom and cable providers, including Verizon and AT&T, are expected to challenge the new rules in a federal lawsuit.

Judging by recent headlines, it seems as though European regulators are in agreement with United States operators contesting the ruling. In the wake of the FCC’s passing of net neutrality in the United States, news broke that the European Union was drafting new proposals that would allow telecom operators to “prioritize certain services to ensure that the network worked properly,” according to an article published by Fortune.

While the proposals allow network operators to enter freely into agreements with companies to deliver faster speeds at a higher cost, the rules still encourage that all traffic be treated equally. U.S. operators have lost the battle of net neutrality, and while there’s no guarantee that the regulations will be passed in Europe, it’s safe to say that luck in on operators’ side.