Document Actions

Vice-President Kroes to propose action on consumer choice and "net neutrality"

Europa - When it comes to the issue of "net neutrality" I want to ensure that Internet users can always choose full Internet access – that is, access to a robust, best-efforts Internet with all the applications you wish.

But I don’t like to intervene in competitive markets unless I am sure this is the only way to help either consumers or companies. Preferably both. In particular because a badly designed remedy may be worse than the disease - producing unforeseen harmful effects long into the future. So I wanted better data before acting on net neutrality.

One year ago, I asked BEREC, the body of European network regulators, to give me the evidence: are users provided with the right quality of service? How much blocking and throttling is taking place? In practice, how easy is it for users to "switch" operators or services? In short, how easy is it for consumers to transparently choose the service that works for them, including full Internet access if they want it?

I also asked European national legislators and regulators to wait for better evidence before regulating on an uncoordinated, country-by-country basis that slows down the creation of a Digital Single Market.

BEREC has today provided the data I was waiting for. For most Europeans, their Internet access works well most of the time. But these findings show the need for more regulatory certainty and that there are enough problems to warrant strong and targeted action to safeguard consumers.