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Parliamentary questions
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31 May 2013
Question for written answer E-006146-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Josef Weidenholzer (S&D)

 Subject:  Data throttling and the effects on social participation and the internal market
 Answer in writing 

Deutsche Telekom has announced plans to change its tariffs and impose severe ‘throttling’ when a certain data usage is reached. At the cheapest rate, this throttle is to apply to usage from 75GB. This will take effect in 2016. Besides the issue of the announced breach of net neutrality that needs to be considered separately, the throttling itself has already led to a great deal of anger among citizens that was reflected, for example, in a petition on the change.org(1) platform, which has so far been signed by nearly 200 000 people(2).

1. Does the Commission have any figures on the current and future forecasted average usage by broadband users in Member States? If so, what are they?

2. Does the Commission consider the most unrestricted Internet access possible, especially for socially disadvantaged people, a condition for participating in society as fully as possible? If so, would, in the Commission’s opinion, such social participation not be affected by the enforcement of such tariff models and the additional costs arising from the volume limit being exceeded?

3. Does the Commission take the view or, rather, does the Commission have any reliable figures on the macroeconomic effect that would occur if such throttling models were to gain acceptance across Europe? If yes, what are they?

4. How, in the Commission’s opinion, would this affect young European companies operating in the cloud services market?

5. According to newspaper reports, the Commission intends to put forward, as early as this year, a legal recommendation designed to protect unlimited access to all Internet content for consumers. When will that recommendation be published?

6. What measures is the Commission planning in order to ensure access to the open Internet for all citizens and to enshrine net neutrality in law?


Original language of question: DEOJ C 42 E, 13/02/2014
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