Here's some bad news for net neutrality supporters. Ars Technica reports that the European Parliament voted today in favor of creating Internet fast lanes and slow lanes. Advocates of the vote say it will encourage innovation in the EU, but those against it say it creates an unleveled playing field and will have the opposite effect.
First there was a debate this morning in which only 50 of the 751 possible members of the European Parliament (MEPs) participated. Then a vote took place a few hours later, with 500 in favor and 163 against, that passed a text on net neutrality without including any amendments.
Critics have pointed out that some of the amendments would have closed some loopholes, and the text is flawed overall. A key point, that some say just distracted from the serious net neutrality issue, in the text was getting rid of roaming charges (which likely won’t take place until June 2017.)
Ars Technica called the roaming charges piece “a carrot [offered] by the European Commission in order to persuade MEPs to accept the rest of the package.” A carrot that may not even be real.
One MEP pointed out that the roaming charges will merely be stopped until they hit a fair use limit, and then they will continue as before. So those who voted to sacrifice net neutrality in favor of ending EU roaming charges are now looking rather foolish.
Another MEP called the whole issue a “dirty deal,” and it's hard to disagree.
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