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Eurovision tellybods: Yes, you heard right – net neutrality

Broadcasters suddenly start caring about the internet

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the annual Eurovision musical telly glitterfest, has rounded up a group of “civil society” pressure groups to send a letter to EU leaders demanding net neutrality.

The letter, published on Tuesday, urges the EU Council of Ministers “to support strong and clear net neutrality rules” in the so-called Telecoms Package – a proposed EU law that aims to do everything from abolishing roaming to allocating radio spectrum.

The missive says that “an open, transparent and secure internet, supported by effective EU-wide rules on net neutrality, [can] act as a key driver for innovation and economic efficiency, and to foster informed citizenship and plurality of opinions.”

Co-signatories of its letter include European digital rights group EDRi, the Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and La Quadrature du Net.

The EBU describes itself as “the world’s leading alliance of public service media” but is probably best known for introducing the world to bearded crooner Conchita Wurst in 2014. It is not formally affiliated to the EU. The union's website states that it has 73 active members in 56 countries, mostly comprising state-owned or state-operated broadcasters such as the BBC, the Libya National Channel and Channel One Russia, along with a dozen German radio stations, Radio Tunisia and all of Blighty's regional ITV channels.

“The Council can establish a legacy for Europe and firmly set the open internet as a guarantee for freedom of expression and information in the digital society. Clear net neutrality will protect the freedom to impart and receive information without interference,” said EBU head of European affairs Nicola Frank. ®

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