In the lead up to Wednesday’s announcement, activists and politicians have been making noise about the finer points of the Digital Single Market, including net neutrality and geo-blocking.
Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda cited the American video streaming company as an example of geo-blocking’s effects in an April blog post. The European Telecommunications Operators Association (ETNO) specified Netflix as an over-the-top television service in its recent report outlining suggestions for Digital Single Market plans.
Netflix has been a vocal supporter of net neutrality in the United States, where legislation was passed protecting the policy, but now faces legal challenges. “It hasn’t been a big problem yet in Europe for Netflix. But we do worry as the Internet grows that net neutrality isn’t a strong law here yet. We think it’s good for lawmakers to weigh in before there’s a problem with the principle that the Internet is a utility, like electricity,” Hastings told EurActiv. “Not everyone agrees with that. If you ask most telcos, they don’t want to be a utility,” he added.