Why Europe’s net neutrality plan is more controversial than US rules

An EU flag at the European Parliament. (credit: European Parliament)

The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on net neutrality rules on Tuesday, and at first glance the proposed regulations appear very similar to ones already in place in the United States.

Both the European proposal and the US rules prevent Internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, and they impose a ban on “paid prioritization.”

In both the EU and US, the blocking and throttling rules have exceptions for reasonable network management, and the paid prioritization ban has an exception for what are known as “specialized services.” Both the EU and US also allow zero-rating, a practice that exempts certain online services from counting against data caps.

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