The discussion of the need to establish a ‘right to the internet’, ongoing now for over thirty years, has not brought about a clear resolution. Despite the growing importance of online services to both the economy and social life, there is no consensus on the limits of such a right, nor on the need to define it at all—not to mention controversy over its inclusion in the catalogue of fundamental rights.
However, the discussion about the right to internet access in the context of the EU legal system now seems obsolete. This is so, because—not through the direct modernisation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights but as part of new telecommunications legislation—a new subjective right, called the right to open internet, has emerged.
The aim of this Article is to clarify the content of this right and its relationship to the principle of network neutrality. Against this background, recent judgments of the Court of Justice will be examined and discussed. Although closely related to the telecommunications market, these judgments may serve as a starting point for further discussion on the meaning of the right to open internet in the EU legal system, including its relation to the protection of human rights.