MEPs voted to establish Net Neutrality in the EU as part of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation. Net Neutrality requires Internet service providers to treat all traffic equally regardless of the source.
Net Neutrality has fostered competition and levelled the playing field online. Formalising it in law will prevent ISPs from hindering access to online services, like email, video on demand or online shopping where it competes with their own, or where the service provider hasn't paid extra for special treatment.
Today's vote will begin the process to enshrine net neutrality across 28 European countries.
Pirate Party European Parliamentary Candidate Jack Allnutt said:
"Net Neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic is treated equally without discrimination. It's this ideal that has been the norm as the internet first developed. In fact this fairness online is a big part of of why small companies have been able to launch innovative services, rapidly establish themselves and compete against big players in the marketplace. It's vital and without it we would all have been worse off.
The adoption of the amendments that support true Net Neutrality in Europe is a huge step forward in protecting innovation, economic growth, small businesses and free speech. With these amendments, the European Parliament has signalled that it is not content to hand power to large, unaccountable companies.
The Pirate Party and civil liberties organisations across the EU have been involved in advocating for Net Neutrality for many years. This is a huge step forward and a significant victory for us all. I am pleased that my party and my colleagues in Europe have been on the right side of this issue, and that this has led to real change in the EU."