December 15, 2017 / 4:46 PM / in 10 months

After U.S. decision, France says will continue to defend net neutrality

PARIS (Reuters) - France will continue to defend “net neutrality” irrespective of what other countries may do, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday, after a United States commission voted to ditch rules on the issue.

Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ahead of Thursday's expected FCC vote repealing so-called net neutrality rules in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to repeal the landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.

“France will continue to defend net neutrality despite whatever decisions are taken by other countries,” Le Drian said in a speech on Friday on France’s overseas digital strategy.

The 3-2 vote overturned net neutrality rules that barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to content or allowing websites to pay for “fast lanes” to get their content more quickly to consumers.

“It (net neutrality) is a cardinal principle for the internet to be a space of openness and innovation,” Le Drian said.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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