Ass d’Netzneutralitéit erëm a Gefor? D’USA hunn viru kuerzem hier Netzneutralitéit opginn an domadder dem Drock vu groussen Firmen noginn. A wat kann dat fir Auswierkungen fir mech hunn? Fir d’Netzneutralitéit ganz einfach ze erklären stellt der iech vir, dir sidd op enger Autobunn. Hei däerf all Mark vun Auto drop fueren. All Auto gëtt ob eiser Datenautobunn gläich behandelt. Ouni Netzneutralitéit wär et esou, datt zum Beispill just nach Leit mat engem BMW dierfen d’Iwwerhuelspur notzen. All déi aner hätten Pech gehat.
Datt esou eppes net däerf geschéien ass hoffentlech kloer. Well een Internet ouni Netzneutralitéit féiert zu enger immenser Ongerechtegkeet. Sou muss een fir all Service extra bezuelen. Dir wëllt Netflix kucken? Dann bezuelt der extra. Dir wëllt E-Mailen schécken? Dat kascht dann extra. Dat alles féiert dozou, datt den Konsument méi muss bezuelen fir de selwechten Service deen en am Moment huet. An och Start-Ups a méi kleng Firmen ginn esou benodeelegt. Wou sech grouss Multinational Firmen eng gewëssen Prioritéit kënnen erkafen, ass dat fir anerer net méiglech. En Internet ouni Netzneutralitéit ass puert Gëft fir Weiderentwécklung vun engem Land, fir déi sozial Gerechtegkeet an natierlech fir d’Ekonomie.
Do ass et natierlech schéin ze gesinn, datt d’Europäesch Kommissioun sech well fir eng Netzneutralitéit an der EU ausgeschwat huet.
We will continue to protect #NetNeutrality in Europe, ensuring that all traffic is treated equally:— European Commission (@EU_Commission) December 15, 2017
→ Every European must be able to have access to the #openinternet
→ No blocking or discrimination of online content, applications and serviceshttps://t.co/dSUM6wYwhu pic.twitter.com/r4Tmv2oy0i
Mat dem Accord vun dësem Evenement gëtt fir d’éischte Kéier de Prinzip vun der Netzneutralitéit an der EU beschriwwen: D’Benotzer musse gratis Zougrëff zum Inhalt vun hirer Wiel kréien. Se ginn net ongerecht blockéiert oder gedrosselt, a bezuelte Prioritéiten ginn net zougelooss.
In March, more than 31 European Community Networks (CNs) wrote an open letter to EU policy-makers, stressing the need for an adaptation of the European legal framework aimed at helping these citizen-driven initiatives flourish, thus supporting alternative, democratic and sustainable ways to meet the goals of broadband policies. But rather than opening the door to a much-needed diversification of the telecom ecosystem, European governments only seek to reinforce the dominant positions of incumbent players. As the EU gets closer to a deal over the future of European telecom regulation, the EU Parliament must resist the pressure and reaffirm its commitment to the public interest.
The European Parliament voted yesterday evening on the draft European Code for Electronic Communications, which will form the basis of telecom regulation across the EU for the next decades. The worst was avoided thanks to a majority of members of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) who resisted calls for a sweeping deregulation. The version adopted by the committee maintains enough room for National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) to regulate monopolistic situations and take Community Networks (CNs) into consideration1, for instance by giving them access to optical fiber networks or promoting shared and unlicensed access to the radio spectrum, which can be essential to swiftly build affordable and flexible networks.
The Members of EU Parliament responsible of the text – in particular the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo, known for being close to the Spanish incumbent Telefonica – will now have to negotiate with the EU Council, which represents European governments. But these so-called “trialogue negotiations” have an obvious lack of transparency, making them very difficult to follow. This is all the more worrying given that the EU Council has drafted a very alarming version of the draft code, which aims at overhauling pro-diversity policies and at encouraging the oligopolization of telecom infrastructures.
On access regulation, the Council wants to see a 7-year period without regulation after new network deployments (such as newly rolled-out optical fiber networks). The national regulatory authorities would then have no way of imposing pro-competitive obligations on incumbents, giving big telcos all latitude to extend their oligopolistic positions at the detriment of CNs and other cooperative or non-profit operators. Should the Council proposal prevail, we will witness the disappearance of small alternative network operators.
On radio spectrum, the EU Council intends to preserve the Governments' control over this vital resource, which will allow them to pursue ill-advised policies benefiting the biggest operators and failing to make the best out of the radio commons. In particular, this will undermine the alleged efforts from the European Commission to develop and extend the shared and unlicenced access spectrum, which enables the development of cooperative or non-profit operators and boosts diversity in the telecom sector.
On institutional aspects, the Council wants to let Member States decide which authority shall ensure market supervision and users' rights. By allowing for the circumvention of NRAs, this could undermine any form of independent national regulation as well as any form of coordination at European level.
In a policy domain that has for too long been prone to regulatory capture by private interests, we call on the Members of the European Parliament to defend the public interest by promoting pro-competition and pro-diversity policies. By resisting the pressure of European governments who seek to further entrench the power of the largest industry players over network infrastructures, our elected representatives can ensure that alternative operators and local communities have the adequate means to develop and innovate, offering forward-looking models and services to the benefit of all.
Dear Sir, Madam
Delegations of Members of the EU Parliament are currently finalising trialogue negotiations on the WIFI4EU draft regulation. The regulation will allow local authorities to open WiFI hotspots to boost Internet access, particularly in underserved communities.
WIFI4EU is an initiative announced last year by President Juncker in his “State of the Union” speech in Strasbourg. To deliver on this promise “to equip every European village and every city with free wireless Internet access around the main centres of public life by 2020”, the EU will unleash 120 million between by 2017-2019 to roll out WiFi hotspots in at least 6,000 to 8,000 local communities.
But as the trialogue draw to a close, there is a huge risk of seeing this laudable initiative miss the opportunity of fostering diversity in the telecom sector as well as human rights. Recent negotiations show that Member State governments seek to keep small and local access providers out of the scheme, favouring incumbent multinational corporations while allowing them to spy on users' communications.
To overcome these risks, we call on the EU Council and the EU Commission to endorse the constructive proposals put forward by the European Parliament, and ask that the letter stand firm to safeguard the public interest in EU telecom policies.
In recital 4 of the regulation, the European Parliament insists on the involvement of organisations such as “not-for-profit cooperatives” and “community centres” as entities that could offer wireless connectivity. In the same vein, at recital 9b, the EP wants to promote local SMEs and not-for profit actors as key beneficiary for the procurement and installation of equipment 1. Such language ensures that small, local actors — including for-profit SMEs as well as many non-profit community networks — will be eligible to WIFI4EU funds. By directing the funds to these small but competent players, WIFI4EU would promote local employment, spread of technical skills as well as diversity in the telecom sector, rather than favouring already dominant players in the industry. This is all the more shocking considering that many non-profit community networks are already rolling out the kind open wireless networks promoted by WIFI4EU, with little or no public support. By directing EU funds to these actors when possible, WIFI4EU has the potential of helping them grow and expand their activities at the local level. Unfortunately, the EU Council is trying to remove these recitals arguing that they lack any legal basis, and paving the way for dominant actors to reap most of WIFI4EU subsidies.
In recital 2, both the EU Parliament and EU Council are promoting a solution for a single authentication system that can be used across the EU. This solution favouring authentication system to regulate access to “open” networks is not backed by any substantial reasoning, and runs counter to human rights. We understand the co-legislators' goal of making access to these public networks as easy as possible for people travelling across the EU, but the most simple way to do so is to ensure these are, indeed, open networks without authentication. If the goal of having an authentication system is to prevent illegal activities, co-legislators should be reminded that Advocate General of the CJEU recently explained in the case C‑484/14 (McFadden) that imposing on Wi-Fi network operators an obligation “to identify users and to retain their data” would be “clearly disproportionate” as it “would not in itself be effective (…) in preventing specific infringements”. In the final ruling, the Court agreed that such an obligation should only be imposed after a specific targetting injunction requiring a WiFi operator to do so. To minimise privacy risks associated with data retention and foster ease of use, WIFI4EU should not promote authentication systems in what are meant to be open and free access points.
WIFI4EU should not commodify publicly-funded services by allowing advertising schemes enabled by commercial surveillance. Unfortunately, the Council is trying to undermine the protection suggested by the EP in recital 2, which precludes the use of traffic data for advertisement purposes or other commercial uses. The EP and Council must keep the EP version to be fully in line with the data protection framework and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Furthermore, commercial use of data cannot be justified within an implementation of public utilities —especially when funded through public money.
The number one priority for WIFI4EU must be to develop open and free wireless networks that boost Internet access in underserved communities. The Council's proposal to delete the policy objective of “preventing remote locations and rural areas from lagging behind” and of making these publicly-funded networks both “free of charge and free from restrictions” is dangerous. It suggests that WIFI4EU networks might not be free, nor open, nor even respect the Net neutrality principle enshrined in the EU regulation on the telecom single market. The language put forth by the EU Parliament must be upheld.
We count on you to ensure that the proposals of the EU Parliament, which serves the general interest and specific goals of EU broadband policy, are safeguarded in the final text.
Read the full document here (pdf)