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The online habits of customers and their ability to pay are the focus of digital policy legislation on which lawmakers from the European Union’s 28 member countries plan to vote Thursday in Brussels. A key part of the legislation is net neutrality. The rules are meant to ensure equitable access to the Internet’s pipelines for services like streaming music, on-demand television and cloud computing. The big questions are who pays for them and how much.
The proposed rules have drawn furious lobbying from telecommunications companies like Vodafone, Internet giants like Google and smaller players like Spotify and advocacy groups on behalf of the EU’s 500 million consumers.
The battle is akin to a struggle playing out in the United States but with its own European twists.