Net Neutrality: How European rules can foster innovation

The cep investigates how EU net neutrality rules are best shaped to guarantee innovation. We extend the focus to the upcoming US regulation and conclude with six recommendations to EU policy makers.


In the upcoming weeks, the European Parliament and the Council are set to reach a compromise on the remainders of the Commission's "Connected Continent" proposal. Trialogue negotiations will focus on the regulation of roaming services and of internet traffic. Taking both the Parliament's and the Council's stance as points of departure, this cepInput deals with the net neutrality issue. Currently, equal treatment of data is guaranteed by the so-called "best-effort principle". This means that, within available resources, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) forwards all data as soon as possible, irrespective of the exact content of the data packages, their senders and receivers. ISPs regularly conduct network management in order to avoid network congestion. What is very controversial, however, is whether and to which extent ISPs should be able to conduct network management for purposes beyond avoiding network congestion, especially regarding specialised services.