12 Oct 2016
The Dutch Senate has passed the revised Net Neutrality Law as part of an amendment to the country’s Telecommunications Act. The strict new law seeks to ensure that telcos and ISPs treat all internet traffic equally and cannot favour one internet app or service over another. Opponents, however, say the legislation, which was approved by the lower house of parliament in May this year, is overly severe and is out of line with the EU’s own open internet standards.
Afke Schaart, Vice President Europe at mobile industry body the GSMA, commented: ‘We are greatly disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote. We believe that the Dutch Net Neutrality Law goes far beyond the intent of the EU regulation. We therefore call on the European Commission to ensure the harmonised implementation of Europe’s Open Internet rules.’ The GSMA says the tighter laws in the Netherlands will ‘hinder development of innovative services and consumer choice’.
Meanwhile, local wireless operator T-Mobile Netherlands has said it will launch a court appeal against the new legislation. The cellco has just launched a new music streaming offer, ‘Music Freedom’, which allows customers to stream music without using their monthly bandwidth allowance. So-called ‘zero-rated’ offers such as this are prohibited under Dutch net neutrality laws and the country’s competition regulator, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), has already said it is investigating the new service.