Europe’s highest court has, for the first time, backed an EU regulation which requires telecoms companies to treat all internet traffic equally.
The principle of ‘net neutrality’ is enshrined in EU Regulation 2015/2120.
The Court of Justice of the EU delivered the ruling this morning (15 September) in a case referred to it by the Budapest High Court.
Hungary-based telecoms company Telenor had appealed rulings against it by the Hungarian regulator, which found that its two of internet packages did not comply with EU rules.
Telenor had been offering packages in which data generated by certain applications and services did not count towards customers’ data allowances, while measures blocking or slowing down data traffic were applied to the other applications and services.
The court found that these types of agreements were liable to increase the use of the favoured applications and services and, accordingly, to reduce the use of the other applications and services available.
The court also ruled that, where measures blocking or slowing down traffic are based not on objectively different technical quality of service requirements for specific categories of traffic, but on commercial considerations, those measures must be regarded as incompatible with Article 3(3) of the EU regulation.