The Netherlands – first EU country to launch net neutrality

By EDRi · June 29, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Niederlande: Erstes EU-Land mit Pflicht zu Netzneutralität |]

A broad majority in the Dutch Parliament voted on 22 June 2011 for a
legislative proposal to safeguard an open Internet in The Netherlands.
The proposal prohibits Internet access providers from restricting or
charging end-users for specific services. In addition, provisions were
launched protecting users against disconnection and wiretapping by
providers. The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to launch net
neutrality provisions in parliament. Dutch digital rights movement and
member of EDRi Bits of Freedom calls upon other countries to follow the
Dutch example.

Net neutrality means that Internet service providers may not hinder or
block different kinds of applications and content online. Dutch telecom
incumbent KPN recently received world-wide media-attention because of it
plans to charge Internet users for the use of innovative and competitive
services such as Internet telephony. The legislative proposal aims to
prevent this, while still allowing for measures in case of congestion
and for network security, as long as these measures serve end-user

Another proposal regarding internet connection ensures that
internet providers can only disconnect their users in a very limited set
of circumstances. A third proposal restricts internet providers from
using invasive wiretapping technologies, such as deep packet inspection

The proposals are introduced by the Dutch parliament in the course of
the implementation of the European telecommunications package. The
proposals will also have to be adopted by the Dutch Senate (Eerste
Kamer) before entering into force. English translations of the
amendments can be found on the website of Bits of Freedom.

Press release regarding net neutrality of Bits of Freedom (22.06.2011)

Description of Dutch internet freedom proposals (22.06.2011)

English translation of Dutch internet freedom proposals (27.06.2011)

(Contribution by Ot van Daalen – EDRi-member Bits of Freedom Netherlands)