"Slow internet" could become legal in Brazil

If modifications on a draft bill are approved, telcos will be able to limit internet speeds and access to certain services
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

The latest chapter of the creation of Brazil's "Internet Constitution" saga saw one of the main concerns of telecommunications firms being addressed - the legal backing to reduce user connection speeds.

This is an amendment to the Marco Civil da Internet, a senate bill that has had its voting delayed for years and has become a priority for the country's government since details around NSA spying on Brazilians became public.

According to newspaper Folha de São Paulo, the changes in the Marco Civil - which, among other things, would prevent telcos from restricting connection speeds for different types of content accessed by users - now allows companies to provide slower internet services to customers that exceeded the limit set on contract.

If the bill is approved by the Senate, providers will be able to not only reduce speeds but also prevent users from accessing services such as such as torrents and streaming - so in practice, they would have legal backing for their existing practices.

Despite the fact that the changes go against key principles of internet neutrality set out in the original proposal, the amendments are good news for the telcos.

The companies argue that the rewritten bill will give them more control over how the internet works in Brazil and consequently, they will be able to deliver higher quality services.

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