Regulators actively implement net neutrality regulation

Regulators actively implement net neutrality regulation
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During the second year of the application of the net neutrality regulation (EU) 2015/2120 the adoption of monitoring methods by NRAs has increased as compared to the first year. Moreover, quite a few NRAs have dealt with zero-rating cases and a handful of formal decisions was reached, follows from the BEREC report as of 4 October, covering the period from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018.

Based on the questionnaires gathered from the EU’s national regulatory authorities, BEREC concludes that NRAs apply consistent practices relating to the core principles of net neutrality, such as the ban on blocking of applications and discriminatory treatment of traffic.

As regards monitoring the implementation of the net neutrality regulation in relation to end-users’ rights to open internet access, NRAS mostly mention applying analyses of complaints or end-user reports, sending information requests to ISPs and conducting market surveys without requesting information from ISPs (e.g. checking ISPs’ offers on their web pages). Zero-rating offers were identified by almost all NRAs, with music/video streaming and social networking the most frequently mentioned types of applications being zero-rated. Traffic management practices were assessed formally only by a small number of NRAs. According to the NRAs, monitoring activities are going on for investigating so-called “specialised services”.

In monitoring transparency and contractual terms, NRAs mostly applied a combination of the following methods: formal and informal requests for information from the ISPs, market surveys without requesting information from ISPs, as well as the analysis of end-users’ reports and complaints. Half of the NRAs already set national specifications in relation to the different types of speed– maximum, normally available and minimum. Even though the Regulation has been in place for more than two years, in almost half of the countries ISPs have not yet included speed information in their contracts. A great majority of the NRAs monitor end-user complaints about the performance of the internet access service. Two thirds of the NRAs offer an internet access service quality monitoring mechanism to consumers. 

A large majority of NRAs is monitoring the availability of high-speed internet access service, either by market surveillance without requesting ISPs, by requesting information from ISPs, by conducting internet access service speed measurements and/or by analysing complaints and end-user reporting.

Overall, BEREC concludes that the network neutrality regulation has been implemented by NRAs with adequate coherence. During the second year of application of the regulation, a number of cases were decided upon by NRAs and quite a number of cases were being analysed. BEREC concludes that in analysing cases, NRAs coordinate and exchange information on ongoing cases. This is contributing to a coherent application of the regulation.

 

Photo by MATTHEW | stock.adobe.com

Published on: November 5, 2018


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