Dutch court ruling puts net neutrality in question

On Thursday, April 20th a Rotterdam Court ruled that T-Mobile’s zero rated service “Data Free Music” is legal. The court declared that the Dutch net neutrality law, which prohibits zero rating, is not in accordance with the EU net neutrality law that Brussels lawmakers passed last year.

Zero rating is bad for the long term health of the internet. By disrupting the level playing field and allowing discrimination, zero rating poses a threat to users, competition, and opportunity online.

The Netherlands has been a model to the world in protecting net neutrality. It’s alarming to see these vital protections for users, competition, and opportunity online struck down.

The power and potential of the Internet is greatest when users can access the full diversity of the open Internet, not just some parts of it. We urge the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) to appeal this decision swiftly, and we hope that higher courts will restore the Internet’s level playing field.

1 comment on “Dutch court ruling puts net neutrality in question”

  1. Matthijs Tijink wrote on

    One thing missing in the article: although the European law does allow zero rating, it does limit the cases where it is allowed. If a provider zero rates e.g. Spotify, it must allow other music provides this same zero rating, at no cost or obligation, thus leveling the playing field somewhat.

    Despite that, it still is sad to see the result of this ruling.