How does/will American Net neutrality affect European folks?
November 21, 2017 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone predict how Net neutrality is going to work out? Please refer to the likely European experience - if that is even possible.

Seeing that this looks likely to happen... Do even the experts know, as this has not happened before.
posted by dash_slot- to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Someone - not us - is going to make a lot of money, and we ourselves will have less of something we had before.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:01 PM on November 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Can anyone tell us how our access, in terms of download speeds or other technical analysis will be affected?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:14 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

The net neutrality rules that are in the process of being struck down affect consumer ISPs in the US. The companies who host content and provide the backbones that connect the US with the rest of the world are not affected. However, the loss of net neutrality is already happening in Europe, specifically Portugal, where the provider MEO is slicing the internet into different packages that cost €4.99/month.
posted by zsazsa at 3:53 PM on November 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

zsazsa - I read on Twitter (so this may not be 100% accurate) that those Portuguese "internet packages" are actually part of a mobile data service, where you can pay extra for certain sites not to count towards your monthly data cap. So it is not "you can only access these sites for an extra fee" - you are paying to get unlimited extra bandwidth to use those sites.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:02 PM on November 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

The rules that are being eliminated were only instituted in 2015, so, basically, things will go back to the way they were two years ago.
posted by kindall at 5:18 PM on November 21, 2017

The rules that are being eliminated were only instituted in 2015, so, basically, things will go back to the way they were two years ago.
That is not necessarily the case. During the initial years of an Obama administration that was somewhat less friendly toward monopolies, consolidation, and profiteering, ISPs may have held back from instituting anti-consumer policies out of fear of overreach or backlash. From 2008-2015, anti-net-neutrality policies weren't explicitly sanctioned by law, but weren't necessarily considered completely legal either.

However, if some consumer-friendly rules are explicitly revoked, it will be seen as a sort of official blessing that an ISP can engage in consumer-unfriendly practices.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 6:18 PM on November 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Telcos have been considered common carriers since 1934, so, basically, things will go back to the way they were 83 years ago.
posted by Phssthpok at 12:15 AM on November 22, 2017

According to the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), Net Neutrality is enshrined in EU law. The specific quote from their website:

"ISPs are prohibited from blocking or slowing down of Internet traffic, except where necessary. The exceptions are limited to: traffic management to comply with a legal order, to ensure network integrity and security, and to manage congestion, provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally. The provisions also enshrine in EU law a user’s right to be “free to access and distribute information and content, run applications and use services of their choice”. Specific provisions ensure that national authorities can enforce this new right."

So, taking this at face value, it appears that what happens in the US will have little impact on the EU (although if NN is defeated in the US you can imagine that ISPs will increase pressure on the EU to change their rules).
posted by oclipa at 1:03 AM on November 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

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