An anonymous reader writes: European MEPs have voted to bring EU-wide net neutrality rules into effect next April. The rules most notably will abolish data roaming charges, a significant problem when country-hopping in Europe. Legislators hail the new rules as a major step forward, but critics point out that several major amendments failed to pass which would have closed serious loopholes in the rules. "Among the exceptions opposed by net neutrality supporters is one which allows providers to offer priority to 'specialized services,' providing they still treat the 'open' internet equally. Many had seen the exception as allowing providers to offer an internet fast lane to paying sites ... A different exception is aimed at situations where the limitation is not speed, but data usage. The EU's regulations allow 'zero rating,' a practice whereby certain sites or applications are not counted against data limits. That gives those sites a specific advantage when dealing with users with strict data caps such as those on mobile internet. Here's the full legislative text.
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