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Parliamentary questions
15 March 2013
E-000772/2013
Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

The Commission fully agrees with the Parliament that an open Internet is essential for a pluralistic society, and for socioeconomic development and innovation. It will take the resolutions of the Parliament into account as it formulates initiatives and measures to support these goals.

Based on the results of a traffic management investigation carried out by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), the Commission intends to propose guidance to National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) with a view to promoting competition, innovation, legal certainty and consumer empowerment, including on transparency (actual Internet speeds, data caps, etc.), facilitating switching between providers and responsible use of traffic management tools. Under the EU regulatory framework, NRAs already have the tools to ensure quality of service and net neutrality. Guidance should therefore contribute to coherent approaches across Member States and thus avoid fragmentation of the Single Market which would result if each Member State implemented distinct policies.

In order to contribute to an informed public debate, the Vice-President and Member of the Commission responsible for Digital Agenda has recently set out in ‘Libération’ a number of key elements which could underpin a positive, forward-looking approach to net neutrality, taking account of the fact that technology and business models are changing fast. Following a public consultation conducted last autumn, the Commission is currently carrying out an impact assessment to identify the option that best meets the policy objectives while respecting Better Regulation principles. It expects to present its draft guidance by the summer.

OJ C 354 E, 04/12/2013
Last updated: 19 March 2013Legal notice