By Heini Järvinen

Keeping the internet free and open undoubtedly matters to Europeans: by the end of the public consultation on implementation of net neutrality rules, over half a million comments were sent following the SaveTheInternet.eu campaign.

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The comments have been sent to the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC), which will now finalise the guidelines for the implementation of the Regulation that contains the rules on net neutrality. The guidelines will be published on 30 August 2016.

With a flood of messages supporting net neutrality, we expect the final guidelines to offer clear interpretations for how to deal with zero rating, specialised services and traffic management, and that the guidelines guarantee that we can keep enjoying the openness that has made the internet a huge economic and societal success story.

European Digital Rights and its SaveTheInternet.eu partners want to thank everyone who participated in this outstanding effort to show the regulators that we want to define ourselves – and not let companies do it – how our digital public space will look like in the future!

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Background:

This is the culmination of nearly three years of hard work:

  • Following the launch of the European Commission’s deeply flawed proposal in September 2013, EDRi and its partners worked hard to persuade the European Parliament to support net neutrality in April 2014.
  • We then undertook the difficult job of trying to influence the secretive “trilogue” discussions (from February to July 2015), where the Parliament sought to defend its position, against the strong opposition of both the European Commission and EU Council.
  • Ultimately, a deal was reached in July 2015 – producing that was far better than we could possibly have hoped. Efforts to close key loopholes in the Parliament’s final vote in November 2015
  • From November 2015 until today, we did everything possible, including a face-to-face meeting with BEREC, numerous one-to-one meetings with national regulators and preparation, launch and publicising the savetheinternet.eu platform.

For a complete history of this long and difficult campaign, see:

EDRi’s submission to BEREC’s consultation:

  1. Our policy analysis
  2. Our response to the consultation, which contains specific amendments to the draft guidelines.

A heart-felt thank you to all individuals and organisations that have supported these efforts.

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