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EP votes in favour of net neutrality laws and to end roaming charges

The new legislation prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from giving preferential treatment to its own services and from blocking other services that may compete against their own offerings.

European Commissioner Vice President, Neelie Kroes
European Commissioner Vice President, Neelie Kroes
Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP Press

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (EP) has made its biggest commitment to net neutrality after passing legislation which will treat all traffic equally, regardless of source or content.

Under the new legislation, all online traffic will be treated equally across all EU states, and prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from giving preferential treatment to its own services.

It also prevents ISPs from blocking services that may compete against their own offerings.

EU member states will review the regulation and final agreement is expected by the end of the year.

Alongside the support behind net neutrality, the package also saw MEPs voting in favour of eliminating roaming charges within Europe, creating a single market for telecom services.

Speaking after the vote, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said the vote was “the EU delivering for citizens.”

Nearly all of us depend on mobile and internet connections as part of our daily lives. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped-off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind.

Companies should have the chance to serve all of us, and this regulation makes it easier for them to do that. It’s win-win.

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Roaming charges will be abolished at the end of 2015.

Read: EU Court of Justice rules that ISPs can be forced to block copyright-infringing sites >

Read: EU lawmakers vote in favour of scrapping roaming charges by 2015 >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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