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Brazilian telcos call for "intelligent net neutrality"

Decision to end rules protecting an open Internet in the US prompts regulation loosening talks in the Latin country; government says the current law will not be changed.

Telecommunication companies doing business in Brazil have started a debate about loosening net neutrality rules following the United States' decision to scrap its own regulation.

After the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to scrap rules protecting net neutrality in America, Brazil's National Union of Fixed and Mobile Telecom Companies (Sinditelebrasil) released a statement calling for the current rules to be reviewed to ensure "intelligent net neutrality."

"The telecommunications industry is in favor of intelligently applied neutrality, allowing companies to manage traffic on their networks with the goal of improving user quality and experience," the entity says, adding that there should be no rules to interfere in the traffic management of telecommunication providers.

"It would be enough for the law to reinforce that it is guaranteed to the interested parties that the use of the networks is given in a non-discriminatory manner, guaranteed by the supervision of the regulatory agency," it adds.

However, net neutrality is one of the core pillars of the Marco Civil da Internet, dubbed Brazil's "Internet Constitution." The rules currently in place state that companies responsible for data transmission, switching or routing have to treat information in an equal fashion and without distinction in terms of content, origin and destination, service or application.

There is a handful of special cases where interference of data traffic is allowed in Brazil, such as prioritization of emergency services or mass email (spam) blocking. However, those instances are clearly outlined in the current regulations.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), there will be no changes in the national net neutrality rules. The MCTIC maintains that the law in Brazil is in force and is "an achievement of Brazilian society".

"We are against changes in [the existing legislation]. Technology evolutions can lead to changes in the law and improvements, but that is not the case, " the Ministry said in a statement.

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