Net Neutrality: Open Letter by European CEOs to the European Commission

Dear Vice-President Kroes,

Following your speech of May 30th at the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, you tweeted ‘Blocking and throttling Internet services, apps hurts us all – no reason to be anti-competitive like this. Pleases back me to stop it’.

As European entrepreneurs we are ready to back you as we also believe the European Union, its citizens and its businesses need safeguards to curb the tendencies of access operators to act as gatekeepers of the Internet. Such tendencies are harmful to the fundamental rights of users, to new and existing companies counting on the global reach of the Internet to launch and grow their businesses and to innovation and the economy in general.

End-users’ choice of which content, applications and services to view, run or use is already restricted across the European Union today, especially when accessing the Internet on mobile subscriptions.

We therefore call on the European Commission to set out the following principles in its announced guidance on net neutrality:

1) The Internet should be open so that everyone is able to send and receive the content, run the applications and use the services of their choice, on the device of their choice, within the law, and to access all other users.

2) Network management should be kept to a minimum,* and deployed for purely technical, security or legal reasons. There should be no discrimination in the treatment of Internet traffic, based on device, origin and/or destination of the content, application or service. Network access providers must be prohibited from blocking, degrading, hindering (including through application and/or service specific price surcharges) and throttling targeted at applications, services, content or protocols.

3) Transparency and facilitating switching are important but insufficient to protect the open Internet.

Such guidance would create the legal certainty needed for the Internet economy to continue its path of growth and innovation to the benefit of users and businesses across Europe, a path which has allowed our companies to exist and grow so far.

Yours sincerely

Talmon Marco, CEO Viber Joeri Van Dooren, CEO WeePee Dr Victor Henning, co-founder and CEO Mendeley Ernesto Schmitt, co-founder and CEO zeebox Kamil Janiszewski, CEO – handy shopping list Xenios Thrasyvoulou, Founder and CEO Xavier Damman, Co-founder and CEO of Greg Marsh, EU entrepreneur Itay Rosenfeld, CEO Voxbone Edial Dekker, Co-founder and CEO Gidsy Alice Taylor, Founder & CEO Makielab Luis Font, CEO & Founder Zyncro Jeremy Le Van, EU entrepreneur Brendan Gill, CEO OpenSignal Davy Kestens, CEO Twitspark Aleš Špetič, CEO CubeSensors and Slovenia’s Digital Champion Guillaume Verhaeghe, CEO Djengo Jeff Lynn, CEO, Seedrs Limited Dan Winfield, Founder and CEO Voxhub Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Entrepreneur, Founder of The Next Web

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