On the Internet, you decide what you do, right? Maybe not!

Online companies and telecommunication providers want to control what you do online. For example, they want to restrict access to Internet telephony in order to force you to use the telephone service that they want you to use. They want to charge you extra for watching videos or listening to music, if you choose a service that they are not promoting. They want to prohibit the use of specific software on their networks or throttle innovative applications such as peer-to-peer filesharing. They want people to pay to access your blog.

This must stop. We want to ensure that your rights and freedoms online are protected and that you decide which content you access and which applications and services you use.

Net Neutrality violations harm freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of choice, innovation, competition, privacy and increase communication costs.

We need to ensure that the Internet remains free, open and accessible for all. This is what net neutrality is about. The European Commission and national regulators need to prohibit providers from restricting your online traffic and do so before it is too late. In order to convince them about the urgency of this problem, we aim to create a comprehensive data set of Net Neutrality violations in Europe.

Guidelines for reporting cases

Internet providers can abuse their control over their network in several ways. For example, they can discriminate between individual applications by throttling, blocking or prioritising them - this is called “technical discrimination”. They can also discriminate between individual applications by excluding them from your monthly data cap - this is called “economic discrimination”, which is commonly known as “zero-rating”. A mixture of both types of discrimination is usually encountered in the provision of abusive “Specialised Services”, which can turn into paid-fast lanes.

When reporting economic net neutrality violations through RespectMyNet.eu, please provide us with a description of the practice of your ISP. We need to know what services are not counted towards your monthly data cap and what happens with your Internet connection if your data cap is exceeded. By providing links to the relevant offerings, advertisement material and terms-of-service of the product, you are providing us with crucial evidence to present to the regulators. If you are not sure on how to classify a violation that you encounter, just leave the relevant fields empty. Submissions can be discussed and modified once they are in the system.

When reporting technical net neutrality violations through RespectMyNet.eu, please describe only connection issues that are related to traffic discrimination, that is to say cases where Internet access providers discriminate between traffic according to the source, destination, type or actual content of the data transmitted over the network (i.e. if your provider blocks traffic coming from YouTube or slows down Usenet traffic). If possible, please verify whether the provider is the one to be blamed: sometimes it is just the server itself which is not working (i.e. if a website is down, this is obviously not the fault of the Internet access provider).

Sample of common ISP issues that DO NOT require a formal complaint (from: http://www.ispreview.co.uk/new/complain/complain.shtml)

  • Brief and Uncommon Critical Service (Email, Website Browsing etc.) Outages.

    Unfortunately, ISPs experience occasional problems with online services, such as email access. These are usually resolved after a few minutes or hours, and only very occasionally will they last longer than a day. Don't get too frustrated, inform them of your problem and allow some time for it to be resolved.

  • General Fluctuations in Broadband Speed.

    Broadband is a so-called “best effort” service, which means it is shared between many users and open to fluctuations in performance (especially in dense urban areas). For example, if you have an 8Mbps package but your line is only rated to cope with 2Mbps, you should not be surprised to see speeds vary from around 1 to 1.5Mbps (or even lower during peak periods). Very few providers provide information about broadband speed. This should change after the entry in operation of the new European net neutrality rules. Your ISP has to provide you with information about the traffic management that affects you, as well as included details in your contract regarding the minimum, maximum and average bandwidth speed of your Internet connection.

  • Short and Uncommon Broadband Connection Problems.

    Once again, connections do sometimes go down and fail to connect/reconnect, though usually for no more than one day at most. These issues should be very rare and are usually fixed within a few minutes or hours.