European Union considers tiered Internet services

MANILA, Philippines – The European Union (EU) is reportedly following a different tack with regard to Net Neutrality: offering fast lanes without slowing down everyone else.

The Financial Times reported Tuesday, March 3, that a proposal had been made that would potentially allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to “enter into agreements” with companies or individuals to give them faster Internet speeds.

This tiering of the Internet would not slow down other users’ connections, The Verge added.

Representatives from the 28 EU member states will vote on the measure. If it passes, it will undergo debate by the European Commission and the European Parliament. If an agreement between these two bodies and EU member-states is reached, the proposals will be enacted into law.

A Wall Street Journal report added that EU digital chief Günther Oettinger said at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona that these rules might be agreed as early as summer this year.

"Access to the Internet and neutrality for our consumers is an important goal," The Wall Street Journal reported Oettinger as saying.

"The question is how to define special services on top,” he added.

While telecommunications companies welcomed the proposals, liberal politicians within the EU did not.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) said in a statement, "Drafts that are circulating clearly demonstrates that Member States are more interested in defending the interests of their national telecom operators than creating real competition that would provide cheaper rates for citizens and businesses." –

European Union and Hex Code graphics from Shutterstock 

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.