PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA elects new Officers during November General Meeting

Brussels, 28 November 2022 – EuroISPA announces the appointment of new Officers following an election held during the General Meeting on November 24th and 25th in Brussels.

EuroISPA is the world’s largest association of Internet Services Providers Associations, representing over 3,300 Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the EU and EFTA countries. After two years of dedicated work, two of the former Officers have stepped down. New Officers have been elected following a vote by the EuroISPA members; Alex de Joode and Elina Ussa will share the Presidency mandate, serving one year each, Michel Combot will join as Vice-President, and Thomas Bihlmayer is to continue as Treasurer.

Alex de Joode, stated: “I would personally, and on behalf of the Board, like to thank Alexandra Lafitte for her guidance and leadership of EuroISPA in engaging with the EU and international institutions. A heartfelt thank you also goes to Innocenzo Genna, for his strong contributions to the organisation and its impact on policy issues including data protection, cybersecurity, and intermediary liability.”

Elina Ussa, who will take up her role as President at the end of 2023, said: “It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of the legislation in the field originates from the EU. It is important to be closely involved in influencing various legislative projects as early as possible. EuroISPA’s excellent lobbying is wide-ranging. It’s great to get the opportunity to be in its core, and to bring expertise from Finland, the Europe’s leading country in digital development.”

Taking up his role as Vice-President, Michel Combot said: “Our industry and our ecosystem are at the heart of the daily lives of businesses and our fellow citizens. While the very nature of the Internet is sometimes called into question, EuroISPA carries the voice of ISPs in Europe, gathers all stakeholders, and provides a forum for cooperation amongst its members.” Thomas Bihlmayer, continuing as Treasurer, stated: “I’m very proud and grateful to have been re-elected for a second term as EuroISPA Board member. During its 25 years, the Association has been an important voice for the Internet industry and I’m looking forward to continuing this active participation. Technology continuously develops, and with it new challenges arise.”

The final General Meeting of 2022 gathered members in person at EuroISPA’s office in Brussels. The two-day programme Committee meetings, general administration and updates about the Association, as well as the election of the new Officers. EuroISPA welcomed contributions by guest speakers, including representatives from the European Commission and the Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU.

Former EuroISPA President Alexandra Laffitte said: “After serving for four exciting years as a member of EuroISPA’s Officers, I am thrilled to welcome the new Officers: Alex de Joode, Elina Ussa, Michel Combot, and Thomas Bihlmayer. This renewed Board of Officers will bring an exciting new perspective to the association, and I wish them all the best as EuroISPA continues to engage on crucial issues for our society, such as digital rights or encryption. I would like to thank everyone involved in EuroISPA for their trust, cooperation and guidance over the last years, and their ongoing contributions this organisation.” Vice-President Innocenzo Genna, who is stepping down after 16 years on the Board,  stated: “It was a long journey serving EuroISPA as an Officer in a multitude of relevant policy and governance matters. I remain committed to the Association and to supporting its activities going forward, and thank my fellow members for your support over the years.”

De Joode concluded: “We believe that a diversity of Board members will bring fresh energy to the Association. The renewed board brings new expertise to EuroISPA from different domestic legal cultures and experiences, as well as management experience, as two of the new board members run two member associations themselves. In order to retain some continuity, Thomas Bihlmayer stays on as Treasurer and I pick up the role as President after a two year hiatus. I’m looking forward to engage with the EU on various policy dossiers as President, but also in my capacity of Chair of the Safer Internet Committee to ensure there is an effective CSAM regulation that builds towards an open and free internet in Europe.”

PRESS RELEASE: Freedom Internet becomes EuroISPA Industry Forum’s newest member

Brussels, 13 October 2022 EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations welcomes its new Forum member, Freedom Internet BV, a Dutch Internet, television and telephone services provider. With Freedom Internet’s addition, EuroISPA’s Industry Forum can now rely on nine companies active in the Internet industry to participate in the association’s activities under an advisory competence.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Freedom Internet as the newest addition to the EuroISPA Industry Forum. Freedom Internet will provide valuable advice to EuroISPA Council members, actively contributing to our discussions on the policy issues impacting the European Internet industry. At EuroISPA, we value the input and advice of companies, and we believe that Freedom Internet, with its focus on open and safe Internet, will bring a fresh perspective and represent a great addition to the works of the Forum.”

EuroISPA is the representative body of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent. Founded in 1997, EuroISPA functions as an ‘umbrella’ association representing ISP associations on policy and legislative issues and facilitates the exchange of best practices between members. The association is structured around different, topical Committees, which allows members to regularly exchange ideas and views on specific policy matters and dossiers.

Freedom Internet BV is an Amsterdam-based company that serves both private and business customers by providing services over the Internet, including fiber optic or DSL Internet, television and telephony. Their activity has a special focus on user privacy and online security as they fight for safe and free Internet access by working closely with digital rights foundation Bits of Freedom.

Bibi van Alphen, Public and Legal Affairs at Freedom Internet, stated: “We are very glad to join EuroISPA and are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with the other members. Together we will ensure that important principles like net neutrality, privacy and freedom of speech will always be considered at the EU level while discussing the future of the Internet.”

About Freedom Internet BV

Established in 2019, Freedom Internet BV is a Dutch provider of Internet services to business and private customers that relies on over 30 networks in the Netherlands. Freedom Internet BV pledges to provide its users with free and open Internet and to safeguard their privacy and security online.

PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA voices concerns regarding CSAM proposal’s impact on user privacy

Brussels, 18 May 2022EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, highlights concern about privacy, freedom of speech, and overbearing obligations in relation to the recently proposed Regulation to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.  

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, noted: “Our members share the view that obligations in relation to detecting, reporting, removing, and blocking of content in this proposal raise questions about intrusion into user privacy and potential surveillance by authorities or malicious actors, as well as about operational viability. Furthermore, in order to ensure consistency across the ecosystem and a proper balance with regards to fundamental rights and freedoms, the proposal needs to be aligned with the DSA and the GDPR. This is particularly important with regards to principles such as non-general monitoring and the confidentiality of electronic communications. Encryption tools are part of the framework which allows Internet and online services to be trusted and ensure ongoing cybersecurity and data protection. The weakening of end-to-end encryption would damage the economy as well as damaging efforts to create an Internet which enhances trust, user privacy, and freedom of expression”. 

EuroISPA represents Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent, creating a common voice aiming to promote and protect the interests of its members whilst working towards a safer Internet for all.  

Within EuroISPA, the Safer Internet Committee aims to contribute to the shaping of policies on child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online and cooperates with law enforcement authorities by sharing practical experience and infrastructure control. Several EuroISPA members also manage national level hotlines which contribute to the tackling of illegal content online.  

“This proposal puts forward a new approach to combatting child sexual abuse, a crucial issue that we have been dedicated to for many years. However, it is important to note that the proposal only focuses on the Internet ecosystem, without considering and supporting the existing local-level schemes which have proven their efficiency in fighting and preventing child sexual abuse. EuroISPA is analysing the text in detail to ensure that the future framework will effectively help prevent child sexual abuse, and that the obligations on intermediaries do not have a burdensome effect on smaller players in the sector, as SMEs are at the core of EuroISPA’s membership and play a vital role in the Internet sector as a whole. We hope our voice and the voices of fellow industry players will be taken into account as discussions continue about the proposal, in order to protect all the fundamental rights of users whilst tackling the very real concern of CSAM online at an operational level,” added Asko Metsola, Chair of EuroISPA’s Safer Internet Committee. 


PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA welcomes progress on the DSA

Brussels, 20 January 2022: EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, welcomes today’s plenary vote on the Digital Services Act (DSA) in the European Parliament, paving the way for interinstitutional negotiations and a potential final agreement in 2022.

Malcolm Hutty, Chair of EuroISPA’s Intermediary Liability Committee, said: “We commend the work of the Rapporteurs and the Shadow Rapporteurs to create a regulatory framework ensuring a safe online environment for users while fostering innovation and competitiveness within the Single Market. The preservation of key principles of the E-Commerce Directive, such as the limited liability regime and the prohibition of general monitoring obligations, will ensure that the Internet industry can continue to thrive for the benefit of all Europeans.”

At the same time, further work in the interinstitutional negotiations will be needed to guarantee a truly future-proof framework. For instance, a clearer distinction between online platforms and pure hosting services providers is needed in order to grant legal certainty for all parties. Provisions on orders to take down content and to provide information to authorities should respect the country-of-origin principle and should be in line with existing and upcoming legislation such as the e-evidence package.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, shared the association’s views on the upcoming interinstitutional negotiations: “We encourage policymakers to keep the DSA a horizontal framework, to avoid creating obligations which would result in primary liability for service providers, and to ensure that the upcoming rules are balanced and proportionate, especially taking into account the type and size of businesses. We stand ready to support the co-legislators in their efforts to formulate a future-proof framework for the online environment.”

PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA Calls for Robust Regulatory Digital Framework for the EU and a Timely Decision on the Digital Services Act

Brussels, 12 November 2021 – EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, co-signed a letter calling on the European Parliament to develop a robust regulatory digital framework for the EU with the Digital Services Act (DSA), as part of a broader coalition of leading start-ups and SMEs, alongside technology, advertising, and media organisations of different sizes.

The letter highlights the key areas the signatories believe should be focused on in order to ensure a timely co-legislative process, which will be crucial to strengthening the EU internal market. The letter comes in light of the upcoming Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee (IMCO) vote on the matter and notes the need to:

  • Maintain the horizontal approach of the Digital Services Act
  • Preserve and build on the cornerstones of the e-Commerce Directive
  • Build a workable, balanced, future-proof Regulation
  • Ensure consistency with the EU’s existing legal framework

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, commented: “EuroISPA is in a unique position to represent the needs of European Internet Services Providers, so we feel it is particularly crucial to highlight that the DSA should maintain the e-Commerce Directive principles at its core while remaining horizontal in its scope; it should not address issues that are best left to specific, vertical legislation. Along with our fellow signatories, we hope that this letter will emphasise our willingness to bring expertise to the discussions at any point and that it will help policy makers tackle the DSA in a timely and relevant manner.”

EuroISPA represents over 2,000 Internet Service Providers of all sizes across Europe and is an advocate for the needs of the wider internet industry. The Association aims to ensure that policymakers are aware of the needs of EuroISPA’s members in order to make informed decisions.

Read the letter in full here:

PRESS RELEASE: EuroISPA welcomes newest member to association, AMS-IX

Brussels, 21 October 2021 – EuroISPA, the pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations, welcomes a new Council member, AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange), a member-based association that operates interconnection platforms around the world.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming AMS-IX as the newest member of EuroISPA. AMS-IX will play an important role in the association, contributing enthusiastically to our discussions on policy impacting the infrastructure of the Internet. As the digital sphere continues to change in shape and dynamics, we at EuroISPA believe that it is increasingly important to be able to represent the whole Internet value chain and work together to achieve common goals. We extend our wholehearted welcome to AMS-IX.”

EuroISPA is the representative body of Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent. Founded in 1997, EuroISPA functions as an ‘umbrella’ association representing ISP associations on policy and legislative issues and facilitates the exchange of best practices between members. The association is structured around different, topical Committees, which allow members to regularly exchange ideas and views on specific policy matters and dossiers.

AMS-IX a neutral member-based association that operates multiple interconnection platforms around the world. Its leading platform in Amsterdam plays a crucial role at the core of the internet and has more than 880 connected networks and over 10 Terabits per second (TBps) of peak traffic.

Peter van Burgel, CEO of AMS-IX, stated: “In the coming years, the European Union will have a major impact on the technical functioning of the Internet by means of new legislation and European stimulation programs. By joining EuroISPA, AMS-IX wants to actively participate in the discussions on the future of the Internet and give a voice to the values that have made the Internet such a huge success.”

About AMS-IX

AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange) is a neutral member-based association that operates multiple interconnection platforms around the world. Our leading platform in Amsterdam has been playing a crucial role at the core of the internet for more than 25 years and is one of the largest hubs for internet traffic in the world, with over 10 Terabits per second (Tbps) of peak traffic. Connecting to AMS-IX ensures customers such as internet service providers, telecom companies and cloud providers can route their global IP traffic in an efficient, fast, secure, stable and cost-effective way. This allows them to offer low latency and engaging online experiences for end-users. AMS-IX interconnects more than 1000 IP-networks in the world. AMS-IX also manages the world’s first mobile peering points: the Global Roaming Exchange (GRX), the Mobile Data Exchange (MDX) and the Internetwork Packet Exchange (I-IPX) interconnection points.

More information:

EuroISPA co-signs industry letter on the EU-U.S. adequacy agreement ahead of ‘Schrems II’ anniversary

EuroISPA joins industry members to co-sign a letter to EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo calling for a swifter agreement on secure transatlantic data flows, particularly in the context of the invalidated EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Signatories recognise the ongoing efforts to create a new, strengthened EU-U.S. framework for the transfer of personal information, whilst highlighting that it is crucial that this be achieved as soon as possible, so as to ensure the growth and innovation of businesses in both the EU and the US.

Read the letter here:

EuroISPA welcomes new member, Cambium Networks

Brussels, 6 July 2021 – EuroISPA, a pan-European association of Internet Services Providers Associations welcomes a new Forum member: Cambium Networks, an infrastructure provider which offers wireless connectivity to people worldwide.

EuroISPA represents Internet Services Providers (ISPs) across the European continent, creating a common voice aimed at promoting and protecting the interests of its members. Active since 1997, EuroISPA acts as un ‘umbrella’ association representing ISP associations on policy and legislative issues and facilitates the exchange of best practices between members. EuroISPA’s Industry Forum allows companies with a legitimate interest in the Internet industry to participate in EuroISPA’s activities, acting in an advisory capacity and providing input on relevant policy issues.

Alexandra Laffitte, President of EuroISPA, stated: “We are delighted that Cambium Networks is joining our community as a new member. EuroISPA represents the common voice of European Internet Services Providers, and the valuable addition to our membership of Cambium Networks strengthens our position as a prominent stakeholder representative body in the sector.”

Cambium Networks provides advanced wireless communication network infrastructure to private network operators in the business, including education and hospitality, local and national government, defense, and industrial markets, in addition to the broadband Internet Service Provider community supported by EuroISPA. Cambium Networks’ end-to-end solutions include Fixed 5G, 60 GHz mmWave networks capable of delivering multiple gigabits of data wirelessly to the edge, and indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi 6, among others. 

Martín de la Serna, Vice President for Europe, Middle East, and Africa of Cambium Networks said: “Cambium Networks is pleased to join EuroISPA as a Forum Member and collaborate with EuroISPA to further its critical mission. Internet Service Providers and policymakers across Europe find themselves at a unique inflection point marked by rapid services evolution, promise and potential and can benefit greatly from EuroISPA’s leadership. Cambium Networks, as a leading technology supplier to wireless internet service providers around the globe, looks forward to supporting EuroISPA and its stakeholders as Europe advances towards its Gigabit Decade goals.”

EuroISPA criticises strict one-hour takedown deadline in the new Terrorist Content Regulation

April 30 2021 – Brussels

Following last week’s adoption of the EU Regulation to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online by the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs), the Regulation has now been adopted by the Plenary in second reading, without a final vote.  

Malcolm Hutty, Chair of the Intermediary Liability Committee, commented: “While we welcome several improvements in the final text, EuroISPA regrets the inclusion of an inflexible one-hour timeframe to execute removal orders. Forcing companies to move too fast will inevitably impair the quality of decisions and will risk inappropriate removals of legitimate content and mis-use of the system. This will be especially problematic for smaller businesses without previous experience of encountering terrorist content, who will not have pre-existing relationships with anti-terrorist police and awareness of good practice guidance.”  

EuroISPA also notes that the text could be attacked at the domestic level leading to legal uncertainty for service providers. For instance, the final Regulation contains provisions which are similar to the rules established by the French Law on tackling hate speech online (so called “Avia law”), which were declared to be unconstitutional by the French Constitutional Council in 2020.  

At the same time, EuroISPA notes some important positive changes in the final text. For instance, penalties determined by Member States will need to take into account the nature and size of the hosting service provider, mitigating risks of high sanctions for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “It was important that the regulation does not stipulate obligations to use automatic tools and pursue active content monitoring. However, we will have to observe how the relevant rules will turn out in practice”, said Malcolm Hutty.  

Going forward, EuroISPA’s national members will maintain a constructive dialogue with their respective Competent Authorities and will keep tackling terrorist content online efficiently and responsibly, in order to ensure a safe Internet for EU citizens and businesses.   

Press Release: EuroISPA Announces Election of New Board

Brussels, 23 November 2020EuroISPA, the association of European Internet Services Providers, announces the appointment of it new board members, following an election during the latest General Meeting. The newly elected President, Alexandra Laffitte, was previously on the board as Treasurer and Vice-President; Innocenzo Genna takes on the role of Vice-President once more; whilst Thomas Bihlmayer joins the EuroISPA board as Treasurer in his first mandate. As members from FFTélécoms (France), AIIP (Italy), and eco (Germany), respectively, the new EuroISPA board reflects the multinational nature of the association.

Alexandra Laffitte (FFTélécoms) stated, “I am delighted to have been elected President of EuroISPA, and I look forward to continuing the work the association has achieved in the past years, and to building upon the work of the previous presidencies. This nomination is very humbling, and I would very much like to thank EuroISPA’s membership and extend my gratitude to Maximilian Schubert for having been an outstanding, forward-thinking President for the past two years. My time on the EuroISPA board over the past two years has given me great insight into the valuable work the association does. I am excited to continue to push forward EuroISPA’s programme and priorities in the context of policy issues like the Digital Services Act.”

Innocenzo Genna (AIIP) said, “It is a great pleasure to once more be part of the EuroISPA board. In the past years we have focused on the key policy topics that impact our industry and our members, and I look forward to contributing to this actively. While new European rules are expected to address the issues arising from the rise of digital markets and the conflicts with traditional industries, it is of utmost importance that the Internet remains an open space where innovators can launch and develop new services and business models beyond the limitations of legacy technologies and national borders; EuroISPA is in the interesting position of helping ensure this can happen.”

Thomas Bihlmayer (eco) added, “EuroISPA has a strong position in enabling its members from across the continent to be represented vis-á-vis EU policy makers, and I am happy and extremely honoured to have been elected as the association’s Treasurer. It will be an exciting challenge to help this association grow and expand, whilst working towards its goals and priorities. I look forward to further shaping the role and influence of EuroISPA with the new board, and thank the members for their trust in me to do so.”

As a pan-European association, EuroISPA represents over 2,300 ISPs across the European continent. The association advocates for the needs of the wider internet industry at EU level on specific policy issues, working to make sure that industry priorities are highlighted to external stakeholders. The board is elected every two years, and ensures the governance and daily running of the association, as well as ensuring the positioning of EuroISPA on key policy topics.