Europe’s Supreme Court on Tuesday lent its support to the European Union’s Net Neutrality rules, which require telecom operators to treat all Internet traffic equally, a setback for the telecom industry that wants a less restrictive regime .
Adopted in 2015, the rules prohibit those who receive strong support from large tech companies and consumer groups Telecom operators From blocking or slowing traffic, or offering paid lanes.
Telecom operators are insisting on less stringent regulations to allow revenue from specific services such as connectivity for driverless cars and Internet-connected devices to offset declining turnover from their traditional telephony business.
The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in its first ruling on the subject supported an open Internet doctrine.
“To protect the rights of Internet users and to treat traffic in a non-discriminatory manner an Internet access provider in favor of certain applications and services through a package to benefit those applications and services from ‘zero tariffs’ and Enabling Restraint. Judges stated that the use of other applications and services subject to measures to block or slow traffic.
The European court’s decision came after a Hungarian court sought guidance in a case involving the Hungarian mobile telecom operator Telenor Magyorzhazag. The Hungarian company offered its customers preferential or so-called zero-tariff access packages, which meant that the use of some applications did not count towards consumption.
Hungary’s National Media and Infocommering Authority said in two decisions in 2017 that the company breached The European Union Network neutrality rules and orders it to be scrapped.
Telenor Magyorczug, who is part of the Czech investment group PPF, challenged the rulers in the Hungarian court. The company said that its business would not be affected by the EU court’s decision as it has already complied with the Hungarian regulatory decisions.
“This means that Telenor does not differentiate between speed of messaging services from online music streaming services and any other type of data traffic,” the company said in a statement.
The case attracted attention in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Romania, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, who submitted comments in an EU court.
Three years ago, the United States repealed its milestone Net neutrality The rules give Internet providers broad rights to explain how Americans use the Internet, unless they disclose the changes.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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