The European Union has announced plans for a two-tier internet that would give a fast lane to preferred corporate and governments users, after a late night “compromise” between European Commission, Council and Parliament.
It is a shocking case of double speak and shady dealings. In an announcement by reps for the EU, they spun it to sound as though they are protecting and enforcing net neutrality. Using terms like “open internet”, they say they have banned paid priority from companies and government agencies.
However, this is not the case. They have created an open internet for all users, and then a second internet lane that will allow paid priority to the highest bidder.
“In parallel, Internet access providers will still be able to offer specialised services of higher quality, such as Internet TV and new innovative applications, so long as these services are not supplied at the expense of the quality of the open Internet,” the statement read, right on the heels of back-patting about maintaining consumer freedom.
Another announcement made was the end of roaming charges for anyone traveling in the EU. The cost will be the same in any EU country for any citizen. Which sounds like a win, but might be less of one when you consider how few people actually use their phones for calls on primary plans while traveling, and instead use free wifi to access online services like Google Voice and Skype.
So, to recount this “win” for the EU:
- They are ending roaming charges for users who already have ways around acquiring those roaming charges, still costing them money because they are paying the rates of their mobile plans.
- The internet is totally free for all users, and net neutrality has been maintained.
- A second tier to the internet will be created that gives paid priority to high bidders, and is run as a separate service to the “open internet”.
The sheer audacity of bald faced shenanigans here is overwhelming. Did they seriously think no one was going to see this as a net neutrality violation? It is the exact definition of a two-tiered internet where preference is given to high rolling corporate thugs.
What amazes me perhaps the most is that it is the EU who has fallen victim to this, not my own capitalism-obsessed home country, America.
Good luck to our readers in the EU, who are sure to make enough to a racket that the backpeddling begins.