New study offers comprehensive assessment of open internet rules

Bird & Bird, together with consultancy firm Ecorys, has produced a study on behalf of the European Commission on "The implementation of the open internet provisions of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation". This research, commissioned by the EU Executive, offers an objective, fact-based assessment of EU net neutrality rules, as well as their interpretation and application in the 28 EU Member States and Norway.

To recall, the EU introduced new and ground-breaking net neutrality rules in 2016, safeguarding open internet access by transparency, enforcement and penalty measures. The new study, provided the assurance that, measured against the pre-existing situation where the Member States treated net neutrality very differently, the new regulations have contributed significantly to a more consistent approach to the establishment, implementation and enforcement of the open internet rules. This conclusion was reached on the basis of a thorough data collection, with the help of the firm's local teams, in addition to interviews with stakeholders, interpretation of survey results provided by Ecorys and analyses of country information as well as the legislative and regulatory context at EU level. The study includes country chapters, an article-by-article analysis and an overall analysis of the open internet provisions.

The research provides a format for a quantitative and qualitative legal and regulatory evaluation of the implementation and interpretation of harmonised measures in EU Member States and EEA Countries, both at a national and a European level. This format may provide useful guidance for similar future projects of this scale and should contribute to efficient and comprehensive legal and regulatory analyses of harmonised EU measures.

Three renowned external experts in regulation and net neutrality supported the work of the core team carrying out the study: J. Scott Marcus, independent consultant on regulatory issues related to electronic communications; Andrea Renda, Senior Research Fellow at CEPS; and Chris Marsden, Professor of Media Law at the University of Sussex. In addition, Dr. Bert van Roosebeke, Head of Department Financial Markets at the Centre for European Policy, was engaged for the purposes of independent quality control. However, Bird & Bird remains responsible for the contents of the study.

Link to the Net Neutrality study and executive summary:

For more information: [email protected]

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