Net neutrality refers to a set of rules aiming at ensuring equal treatment of the information flow on the internet.
Net neutrality gives you the following rights:
The right to access and distribute information
Example: Your operator may not limit access to a certain website, for instance because you are located in a certain region.
The right to use and provide applications and services
Example: Your provider may not forbid the use of any application.
The right to use terminal equipment of your choice
Example: Your provider may not, for instance, impose the use of an iPhone to access its services.
You have these rights, regardless of your location, your internet service provider’s location, or the origin or destination of the information, content, application or service.
The right to equal treatment of Internet traffic
Internet service providers shall treat internet traffic equally and without discrimination, and irrespective of the sender and receiver, the content accessed or distributed, the applications or services used or provided, or the terminal equipment used.
This means that your operator may not, for instance, slow down the traffic for certain applications or websites.
N.B. Your operator may implement reasonable traffic management measures (such as slowing down the traffic), but only if they are necessary for the proper functioning of the network, and if they are transparent and non-discriminatory.
You also have the right to be informed
In your contract, your Internet service provider has to provide explanations on the aforementioned rights and obligations. More specifically:
- information on the possible traffic management measures that may be implemented;
- explanation on the volumes and speeds offered (according to the rules laid down by the BIPT);
- information on the available appeal procedures in case of a persistent or regular discrepancy between the performances (speeds and others) as set out in the contract and the service’s actual performance. For instance, the possibility to request compensation.
- information on how to file a complaint.