Internet: open and neutral
At the meeting of the ministers in charge of telecommunications on 13 December 2011, the Council discussed and agreed conclusions on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe. They underlined the "need to preserve the open and neutral character of the Internet".
Referring to the EU's revised regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, ministers also stressed the importance of ensuring efficient transparency and of innovative technological solutions. Overall, information and communication technology is considered to be a key driver "which contributes significantly to economic growth, innovation and job creation".
While some form of traffic management is deemed necessary, both a public consultation carried out by the Commission and a meeting organised by the Commission and the European Parliament have shown that blocking or throttling of lawful data streams is one of the main issues. Others include price transparency and the sustainability of operators' business models.
The Council called upon the Commission, member states and stakeholders to take appropriate action and to work towards safeguarding the open internet and implementing the principle of net neutrality.
Council conclusions on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe
Press release (pdf) - covers the whole meeting
Commission communication (pdf)
Website: public consultation on the open internet and net neutrality (Commission)