With over 93 000 comments and counting, EU telecom regulators’ consultation on net neutrality has received unprecedented attention from concerned EU citizens. SaveTheInternet.eu is making a final push this week in a bid to reach 100 000 comments.
SaveTheInternet.eu, an international coalition of NGOs supporting digital rights in Europe and abroad, is making a last call of action to protect the openness of the internet in the European Union. Citizens have one more week to make their voice heard. People from across the EU have contacted the Body of Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) that is drafting new guidelines on net neutrality. With the deadline, 18 July, approaching rapidly, the telecom industry has fought back by unveiling new plans for a restricted internet.
Make no mistake about it, this consultation will be seen as a historic turning point for the internet in Europe and beyond. This consultation won’t be repeated. The time to speak out is now.
said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights (EDRi).
SaveTheInternet.eu’s fight for net neutrality has been fought on many fronts, and with many different allies. Their actions have included a public street demonstration with hundreds of participants, an “EU slowdown” protest with over 7000 websites taking part, over 40 000 faxes sent to the European Parliament and hundreds of phone calls by citizens to their country’s representatives. Civil society organisations, academics and tech companies have also supported the cause with open letters and public statements.
The Save The Internet coalition has joined forces against one main adversary: big telecoms providers. Last week, an association of the 17 biggest EU Internet Service Providers (ISPs) unveiled their anti-net neutrality “5G manifesto”, in which they asked for net neutrality rules to be watered down – making the absurd threat not to invest in profitable new technologies if they do not get what they want. In reality, all available evidence points to the fact that net neutrality, by preventing anti-competitive behaviour, actually encourages infrastructure investment.
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