Insights Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) says that Net Neutrality Regulation (2015/2120/EU) is not an obstacle in implementing EU sanctions to block RT and Sputnik

In order to provide clarity regarding the measures by the EU to prohibit broadcasting or distribution of any content by Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik within the EU, BEREC emphasises that the Net Neutrality Regulation allows internet access service providers to take traffic measures to block specific content, applications or services in order to comply with Union legislative acts. BEREC says that the amendment to the 2014 Council Regulation 833/2014/EU on restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, which is the method the EU is using to enact the prohibition, is a legislative act that falls within the scope of the exceptions in Article 3(3) of the Net Neutrality Regulation.

BEREC Chair Annemarie Sipkes said: “To enable a swift implementation of the sanctions, we want to make clear that there are no obstacles in the net neutrality rules to comply with the measures. This means that BEREC member NRAs can facilitate internet access service providers to comply with the measures by the EU.”

Ms Sipkes also said: “We welcome the voluntary initiatives from the telecom operators to help Ukrainian citizens in their communications needs, such as lowering fees for roaming and calls to Ukraine and we hope that these will be implemented as long as necessary. Meanwhile we will be in continuous contact with all relevant authorities as long as this crisis continues.”

BEREC says that it is committed to providing assistance to National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on technical issues that may arise. In the coming days, it will also coordinate with European associations of operators and the European Commission regarding further steps. To read BEREC’s announcements in full, click here.