Thursday, 8 March 2018

Ceisteanna (450)

Róisín Shortall


450. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the action he is taking to support, preserve and protect the principle of net neutrality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10991/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

As Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, I fully support the principle of an open Internet that ensures equal access to all content and applications, free from discriminatory practices based on price. Regulation (EU) No 2015/2120, inter alia , lays down measures concerning open internet access and amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (the EU Regulation). These measures apply in all Member States from 30 April 2016. 

The EU Regulation is directly applicable and binding on all providers of internet access services. Nevertheless, it imposes a number of requirements on the State, including a requirement for national regulatory authorities to closely monitor and ensure compliance with the Regulation and to promote the continued availability of non-discriminatory internet access services at levels of quality that reflect advances in technology, and related rules on penalties.

Draft Regulations to put into effect the obligations on the State which arise under the EU Regulation are currently under discussion with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel with a view to finalising them in the coming weeks.