To ensure an open internet for all
Preserving the open nature of the internet – i.e. the possibility for people to distribute and access content, services, applications of their choice - is essential. This relates to networks operators but also to the internet players as a whole.
The internet has transformed the way people communicate, work and live. Real driver of innovation in services, it is also a source of development in the fields of education, culture, communication and social interaction. Finally and above all it contributes to the expansion of freedom of expression and media pluralism.
An open Internet relies on efficient networks to support and accompany the uninterrupted traffic growth and innovation in services. These networks provide open access to the entire internet, and additionally, provide services that meet specific consumer needs for which they expect some guarantees from their access operator. These services provided in parallel to the access to the internet improve the internet functioning as on the one hand they contribute to the financing of the common infrastructure and, on the other hand they optimize the resources used in the network for a given usage.
To allow internet growth, operators are investing steadily and substantially in new technologies (e.g. fibre, 4G mobile) and must effectively manage their networks; both actions being made in a complementary manner to the benefit of end users. These must be able to choose the internet offers that best fits their needs - the variety of offers and flexibility in the retail market are essential - and operators must remain able to respond.
European consumers enjoy moreover a high level of protection - by provisions enshrined in the European framework in terms of net neutrality, transparency or right to switch operator, also considering that European markets are characterized by a vast number of offers available to consumers. Any new regulatory intervention reinforcing the obligations on operators must therefore maintain a balance by also acknowledging the need and the right for operators to technically and commercially innovate as well as to effectively manage their networks.
Finally, the open nature of the internet cannot be limited to networks. It must also and above all be applied to the entire value chain: operating systems, search engines, application stores, etc. The digital services should be ruled by a consistent legal framework.