the Netherlands

The Netherlands is the first in EU who implemented net neutrality law

On June 4, 2012, the Netherlands became the first European country to enact a network neutrality law. The main net neutrality provision of this law requires that “Providers of public electronic communication networks used to provide Internet access services as well as providers of Internet access services will not hinder or slow down services or applications on the Internet

The 2009 EU Telecoms Package left much leeway for member states to implement their own net neutrality directives. The first proposal by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation was submitted to the House of Representatives on November 3, 2010.

In April 2011, Dutch telecommunications company KPN announced that it would start to block services such as VoIP and instant messaging unless customers paid a fee. Later that week, Vodafone said it was already blocking those services. During an investors meeting in May, KPN admitted to using deep packet inspection. These events accelerated the implementation of net neutrality, as a house majority was against the blocking of specific Internet services.

On June 22, 2011, the house voted for the amendment of the Telecommunications Act with net neutrality regulations. The Labour Party mistakenly voted for an amendment supported by the christian parties SGP, CU and CDA that would allow filtering by ISPs for ideological reasons. A rectification was later plugged into an unrelated amendment.

The amendment was passed by the Senate in 2012, and with the publication of the amendment and the rectification in the official journal of the Netherlands on June 4 and June 5, respectively, network neutrality became the law.