BEREC Consultation campaign
BEREC consultation: say NO the “wait and see” approach
The European body of telecommunications regulators has launched a consultation on its draft guidelines on “Net neutrality and transparency”: every citizen and NGO can take action and answer that the whole consultation is biased, that ”transparency” doesn't solve anything about Net Neutrality and that a positive legislation is necessary.
Quite shockingly, these guidelines have actually nothing to do with Net neutrality, and instead readily accept that telecom operators can restrict access to the Internet as long as users are informed.
BEREC pursues the vain “wait and see” logic of EU commissioner Neelie Kroes, who argued that people should "vote with their feet" by switching providers if they were not satisfied with their operator's practices, letting such providers restrict Internet access at will as long as they inform users. But this logic doesn't stand up to reality.
BEREC doesn't seem worried by operators giving access to a crippled Internet where, for instance, P2P is throttled, Internet telephony applications are blocked, or Virtual Private Networks forbidden, as illustrated in its document :
(From the BEREC consultation document)
Arguments to help you answer the consultation
Use La Quadrature's answer to write your own response to BEREC.
- Transparency and competition will not help preserve Net Neutrality, as has been been proved in the case of the United Kingdom where the OFCOM's (telco regulator) efforts in the way of transparency and competition have failed, since their inception in 2006.
- There are many regions in Europe where competition in terms of mobile or fixed Internet access simply doesn't exist, and citizens don't have a choice in which operator they chose. In these many cases, “competition” does nothing to protect Net Neutrality.
- The BEREC's proposals in terms of transparency may help point out Net Neutrality violations by operators, by they won't do anything to actually protect Net Neutrality, as the BEREC itself recognizes. If nothing is done, the situation will keep on getting worse.
- Evidence of Net Neutrality violations is multiplying all over Europe, as the RespectMyNet platform shows. Protecting Net Neutrality in European law must be a priority, rather than hoping that transparency and competition will solve the issue. Furthermore, during her introductory confirmation hearing before the European Parliament, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes vouched to fight against Net Neutrality violations.
- The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued an opinion which stressed the failure of such a wait-and-see approach. According to the EDPS, access restrictions amount to monitoring and inspecting users' communications, and violate the right to privacy. He concludes that people have the right to access an unrestricted, neutral Internet, at no extra cost.
- Ask for a EU-wide Net neutrality regulation!!
Respond to the consultation before 2 November 2011 : (optional) download the consultation pdf and send back your free-form answer, in any European language of your choice, to BEREC's email address : firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ther is no expected answer format, nor defined questions to answer.
- You may be as short or long as you wish, and a short response is better than no response at all.
- We don't offer a ready-made response template, as copy-paste answers aren't productive. It is much better to express yourself using your own words. :)