The European Parliament just approved new net neutrality rules that many fear could lead to a two-tier Internet system. This new ruling was initially created to provide Internet access without discrimination to all Europeans. It was actually meant to prevent ISP providers from obstructing or otherwise slowing down services, as well as charging businesses or customers more to restore equality. Still, much of the wording of the legislation is causing concern.

Loopholes are the issue in Europe’s net neutrality legislation

The issue is that loopholes exist in the new net neutrality rules that single out certain types of services considered “innovative” or “specialized” such as some types of health care services, HD video conferencing, and video streaming.

These are meant to support the intensive bandwidth needed for things like remote tele-surgery, however, since the wording is not precise, it could allow some ISP providers to create fast lanes where companies could pay to get faster access to the Internet.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other opponents said of the alleged “specialized services” in the new net neutrality legislature, that amendments are needed to the wording to close the loopholes with more specific language.

Opponents say that forcing the new rules to firm up the language would guarantee that the kinds of specialized services allowed to benefit from this exemption to be precisely limited to the ones actually needing this type of separate handling.

New legislation could allow rich companies to benefit

Opponents also said that if rich companies can now pay to prioritize their Internet content, it then suppresses innovation coming from smaller businesses that might actually have better services.

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If all Internet traffic is instead treated the same, the opponents say that all clients will have an equal opportunity to stay competitive, and this better benefits their customers in the long run.

However, some of the bigger companies claim that fast Internet lanes would actually create more innovation and let them provide better service for their clients. Plus, it is a good idea for things like medical providers and some others to get better services.

Time will show how the ISP providers will interpret and set this new regulation on net neutrality into service after this historic vote by the European Parliament.