US repeal of net neutrality: an opportunity for Europe to attract talent and innovation

While Europe maintains a firm stance on net neutrality, last Thursday 14 December the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules allowing Internet providers to diversify their services depending on the application or website. This means that content providers, say YouTube or Facebook, may decide to pay the internet providers in order to get higher speed than other websites.  The decision of the FCC repeals the previous US rules on net neutrality, whereby all websites and applications were treated equally by the internet providers.

Following this historic US decision, Europe now stands out as an example of open internet for all. Net neutrality creates a level playing field, where all companies enjoy the same opportunities and consumers have freedom of choice.  While the FCC decision will certainly favor the incumbents, innovative companies such as startups and new entrants will find it harder to succeed in the US. Thus, Europe’s digital single market has now a great opportunity to become the most attractive place for talent, innovation and investment” commented Oliver Grün, President of DIGITAL SME.

EU Regulation 2015/2120 that applies since the 30th of April, 2016 forbids Internet Service Providers from blocking, throttling (slowing of the Internet speed) or discriminating online content, applications and services. All the content and service providers enjoy equal treatment on the Internet.