MEPs call on US Congress to restore net neutrality

MAURITZ ANTIN

A keyboard of a Samsung laptop computer at the CeBit trade fair, Hanover, Germany, 05 March 2013.

The United States’ decision to reverse net neutrality affects the EU.


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Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake, sent a letter to the US Congress on Monday urging Washington to restore net neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission reversed US net neutrality rules in December, meaning internet service providers in the United States will no longer treat all internet traffic equally.

Schaake sent the letter to the FCC ahead of the watchdog’s planned publication of official rules on net neutrality. Schaake, along with 148 other MEPs who signed the letter, claims the FCC’s ruling will have a major global impact on how the internet operates.

Once the rules are passed, the Senate has 60 days to block the proposed changes, but to do this, there needs to be a majority vote. Schaake said she hopes the letter will change some senator’s minds.

“One vote in the (US) Senate now has the power to save net neutrality. In addition to all 49 Democrats in the Senate, Republican Susan Collins of Maine has already pledged her support for a bill introduced by (Democratic) Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. The European Parliament is trying to sway at least one more Republican Senator to vote in favour of the bill,” said Schaake.

The EU and US have, at times, clashed over net neutrality, but Schaake said the FCC’s recent decision is a major setback.

“The FCC’s recent decision goes against everything we have fought for: the open internet, fair competition online and the proper treatment of internet users,” said Schaake.

“We urge you to stay the course and ask you to overturn the regulations passed by the FCC…Together, we can save the open internet, and serve the internet-users we represent,” reads the MEPs’ letter to the US Congress.

To read the entire letter to Congress see below:

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