Chile became the first country in the world to approve a law guaranteeing Internet users the principles of net neutrality, as well as free access to the resources of the global network.
The ballot, approved by the House of Representatives with 100 votes in favor and one abstention, introduces new provisions to the Communications Act, formulating and enshrining five main provisions.
- Internet service providers are prohibited from restricting access and discriminating in any way against any type of content, web applications or services, except for measures to protect the identity of users, to counter viruses and to ensure online security.
- Providers are required to provide "parental control" features.
- Providers must modify contracts, make them more "transparent, " and provide users with written addenda and clarifications so that subscribers can easily and clearly identify the list of services provided by the operator.
- Providers are required to guarantee user privacy, protect users from viruses, and provide security while on the network.
- Providers must guarantee free access to all types of content, services and applications on the global network and, when providing services, not recognize content downloaded by users, regardless of whose property it is. And to prevent users from restricting their freedom to use content or services other than specific user requests.
The document underwent several improvements in the first reading, after which the senators made several amendments on their part, which were approved by the government. During the debate, the deputies agreed on the need to ensure free access of users to the Internet, but noted that despite the pioneering nature of this type of regulation in Chile, the legislation in this area lags far behind the speed of technological progress.
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Felipe Morande, pledged state support for the initiative, while saying that politicians must move forward with the Internetization of the country, and promised to focus efforts on expanding broadband coverage with the goal of achieving 100% coverage within 8 years.
He also promised to increase oversight in this area. Thus, the new rules issued to implement the new law establish sanctions against providers who try to impose any restrictions on access to the global network.
The Lower House has already sent the bill to the head of the Republic for amendment or adoption as a law of the Republic of Chile.