Write to your MEPs to vote to safeguard Open Internet in Europe

I am proud to be a Fellow of the OpenForumAcademy – which promotes openness in IT standards and procurement. We are very concerned about the pressures to lead to two/many-tier Internet access and we urge “Net Neutrality”. Read this and then write to your MEP.
Don’t know who s/he is? Or how to write?
Simple  in UK. Go to writetothem.org – it will tell you everything. Don’t just copy the letter below – make it a bit personal.

  • About how a free Internet generates wealth for your region.
  • About how it encourages your constituents to keep in touch with MEPs
  • About the ability to share culture across Europe

You get the idea? Now tell them how to vote.

From: Maël Brunet <mael@openforumeurope.org>Date: 31 March 2014 12:33Subject: A chance to safeguard the Open Internet in EuropeTo:

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Dear Member of the European Parliament,

On April 3rd, you will have the opportunity to vote on the Commission’s Telecoms Package proposal. As you are surely aware, ITRE committee adopted on March 18th its report with proposed amendments for the EP. We are disappointed with the final outcome of this vote that we believe is detrimental to an open Internet and would like to take this opportunity to address this issue with you.

We are an independent, not-for-profit industry organisation that aims at promoting open and competitive ICT market. As such, we would like to draw your attention to the vague definition of ‘specialised services’ as adopted by the ITRE members in the aforementioned report. We believe that this is a dangerous loophole. In fact, this provision opens a space to use these services for exploiting the Internet in a way that is deeply detrimental to innovation and the EU citizens as the end users.

We fear that the wording as it stands would allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to prioritise content/application providers that can comply with the financial conditions of the ISPs. This would undoubtedly lead to service monopolies, hindering the competition as a direct consequence. In addition, the ISPs would lose any incentives to invest in the open Internet and the services thereof would slowly deteriorate. Moreover, the end-users would be trapped to use and access only services, contents and/or applications of providers that can pay a prioritised accessibility under this ‘specialised services’ loophole provision. Asresearch indicates, we need to guarantee that investment continues to be made in the ‘open’ part of the network in order to avoid a ‘dirt road’ effect whereby ‘specialised services’ would become the norm rather than the exception.

The success of the global Internet and the World Wide Web has been built on the sole concept of openness, with access being guaranteed to all without favour to any individual, organisation or commercial company. This would not be the case any more, should the definition of ‘specialised services’ be maintained in the text as recommended in the report. We urge you not to miss this opportunity and use your mandate to ensure the full impact of advances to innovation that are introduced by the package. In this regard, we strongly welcome and support the alternative amendments to the regulation bill proposed by the ALDE, S&D, Greens/ALE and the GUE/NGL groups. Europe is at a crossroad and needs to decide whether it will maintain a leadership position in the digital age. In this very moment, Brazil is successfully pushing its own ‘net neutrality’ law through the legislative process and it is a question of time when other countries will follow.

“The moment you let neutrality go, you lose the web as it is. You lose something essential – the fact that any innovator can dream up an idea and set up a website at some place and let it just take off from word of mouth”said Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Please take the time and interest to consider what is at stake. There is still a possibility to correct this shortcoming and introduce a text that truly safeguards the net neutrality in the EU.

Yours sincerely, 

Maël Brunet (Mr)

Director, European Policy & Government Relations
OpenForum Europe
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