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European Parliament votes against net neutrality amendments (bbc.co.uk)
160 points by majc2 on Oct 27, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 38 comments



"It is thought that many MEPs would have been reluctant to begin a process of amending the regulation given that it might have delayed another aspect of the rules - the abolishment of mobile data roaming charges."

That probably should have been the first paragraph of every article (8th in this one) about these amendments. I can see why a politician would value abolishment of mobile data roaming charges more.


Bundling very different laws into one package is an old trick. You wouldn't vote against the "Keyhole-Spying & Non-Puppy-Killing Act" right? In this case telcos were against losing those sweet roaming charges so at least they got several exemptions from net neutrality in the process.


Julia Reda claims that the regulation doesn't even achieve that: https://juliareda.eu/2015/10/european-parliament-delivers-ne... (last paragraph)


How about making smaller laws? First do one abolishing the roaming charges, and don't slow it down by attaching anything else to it. Then do another with the net neutrality stuff.


The problem here is that this was badly put together legislation. I don't think the idea of net neutrality was actually debated at all in reality. The need to abolish mobile data roaming charges in the EU was front and centre of the needs of these MEP's constituents minds and they would not vote this down, it would've been mad for them politically. Whoever wrote this piece of legislation is to blame here.

I would be very surprised if this didn't come back for debate in another form prior to it's adoption.


That's not how it works. Amendments to the proposed law are voted individually, there was never any danger of having to reject the whole law.

There were amendments to close each of the problematic loopholes regarding net neutrality, but they didn't pass the vote.


There is if the set of legislators that are in favor of the end to mobile roaming charges doesn't overlap exactly with the set of legislators in favor of net neutrality. In that case, the number of people who vote in favor of the package might be the intersection of the people in favor of the two things, which is strictly smaller than the set of people in favor of one or the other.

Classic poison pill maneuver.


> Whoever wrote this piece of legislation is to blame here.

But just that is politics!

I heard that now for years, that this is the best practice approach, that is used in many countries: Put together one bad rules with one or two good laws. And when you want to be sure, that the whole package will be voted for, just put some poison-pill in -- something that will bring up (stupid) voters up against those people that vote against it.

What we get: We get cheaper roaming but may lose the future (the US is already so much ahead of Europe, when it comes to online-services and online-startups). This really is old Europe! (I as European would even say stupid Europe!)


That's why you have amendments.


We are experiencing speed problems to many servers. Our broadband is BT Fibre. While accessing some sites is very fast, sometimes others are slow.

For example downloading from Bitbucket from the UK is peaking on 600kB/s, then after a minute, it's dropping to 60kB/s, then stays there for the following 15 minutes.

The same content downloaded from one of our servers in a UK data centre stays on 600kB/s.

I think this is a clear evidence that the service provider is cutting the bandwidth after a minute, which is not what we paid for.


Can you switch to Andrews & Arnold? They're a niche ISP in the UK, targeting tech-savvy users and businesses. They give you IPv6 for free and they're XKCD/806 compliant. (No affiliation, just a happy customer when I lived in the UK.).


I was too cheap to use them when I was in the UK, as they cost a bit more, but the other guys I worked with rated them really highly. I would pay the extra for them these days.


Why would BT throttle bitbucket of all things? They don't have a competing service and bitbucket's share of BT bandwidth must be negligible.


I'm not sure it's BT or somebody else. Traceroute says there are 20 devices my connection is going through. Somebody working for ISPs or Bitbucket could confirm why some sites are fast, others are slower after a minute, I can only guess.


Residental broadband has higher contention than commercial, so it's hard to claim that. Could just be your neighbours streaming Netflix.


Maybe Bitbucket is throttling? I mean it's a possibility.


That's the most likely, since that comment stating that they are downloading a big content.


If you're not sure if you should be pissed at your MEP, here are the votes (PDF): http://bit.ly/1NydR8L

It's from page 19, Pilar Del Castillo Vera section.


Why hide it behind a link shortener?

Direct link is here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//...


How do you read this document?


For an amendment, you have three sections: the "+" section lists people having voted for the amendment, the "-" section lists people having voted against, the "0" section lists people having abstained

Only the surnames of the MEP are listed. They are listed inside their political group. The two biggest groups in European Parliament are PPE (European People's Party, centre-right) and S&D (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, centre-left) See this list of political groups: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_groups_of_the_Europe...


Looks like the PPE and S&D didn't disappoint and voted en masse against it. Sigh.


This is awful to read. We need a tool to make votes clear and searchable. Is there a database of them someplace we could query?


At first I was very sad when I read the article.

However I hope that we, as European, could take this as a challenge and come out with a way to completely obfuscate the web traffic, wich I believe will be extremely important in the coming year.

We should see this as an opportunity, maybe we won't come out with the next Netflix, but hopefully we will be able to to set the standard for privacy and security online, so needed right now...


What would that accomplish? The way telcos already attempted to do that is to assign higher priority to services (like IPTV) of preferred partners (or of course their own). Encryption just means that your companies service gets traffic shaped into oblivion.


Essentially, if it is not encrypted, corporations can fight for regulation to increase the barrier to entry for rival products and services, and we know they will. If it is encrypted, such regulations are futile.


But only the non-paying corporations have an incentive to encrypt. The ones that pay will either not encrypt, or they'll attach some kind of tag to the ISP saying where the packet comes from. ISPs can safely assign all encrypted, non-tagged packets to the slow lane.


So how do they explain refusal to correct obvious anti neutrality parts of this "neutrality" legislation? By too much money from ISPs in their pockets?


There's lots of competition in Europe, so net neutrality doesn't matter. It's just extra government regulation in an area that doesn't need it. Think of it as a symptom rather than a problem.


Tell that to companies lost revenue thanks to faulty QoS at the hands of ISP.

League of legends had customers receive a latency increase from about 40ms in average to 3-5 seconds during a period of about 6 months, which was caused by faulty QoS code by a top 3 ISP in Sweden. Is that fair competition?


What about the other side? - the next potential Netflix competitor probalby won't come from Europe with regulations like these.


I think this can be blamed on the strict European copyright laws more than a lack of net neutrality, also considering that Netflix became what it is today even without net neutrality


That's not what I meant - it was just an example.

The above comment only considered the perspective of an end user, saying that due to good infrastructure and lots competition net neutrality isn't an issue. However I'm more worried about the businesses at the other end of the line, the content and service providers who also have to deal with ISPs. If the market leader in a certain category can afford to buy faster lanes, it's much harder for potential competitors to enter the market, hence the Netflix analogy.


It's a long way to single market, it's a long way to home

The process has been really slow...


Netflix could not become what it is today without net neutrality.


Really in the UK this isn't that true. Bear in mind that you are usually locked into an 18 month contract. Also bear in mind that lots of people don't live in cities.


pretty much all the UK exchanges support LLU compare that to the USA where there is a cosy monopoly or duopoly (if your lucky)


net neutrality always matters.




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