BEREC, the European body of National Regulators for Electronic Communications, issued its Guidelines of interpretation of the Open Internet rules (EU Regulation 2015/2120). In implementing the Regulation in the UK, Ofcom will need to take “utmost account” of BEREC’s recommendations. Whilst the Guidelines do not impinge on the UK’s approach to the Open Internet, they build on the new BSG Open Internet Code of Practice, recently reviewed to reflect the requirements of the new EU rules.
The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) published last week its new Open Internet Code of Practice which includes a series of practical commitments from UK Internet Service Providers on how lawful content should be delivered to consumers. The Code was published with widespread support from all major Internet Service Providers (ISPs), content providers, Government and Ofcom.
Richard Hooper, Chair of the Broadband Stakeholder Group
The publication of the UK’s revised self-regulatory Code of Practice on the Open Internet sees us achieve the best of both worlds; the flexibility and innovation allowed under self-regulation along with a hard regulatory backstop of legislation.
- New Code of Practice signed by all major UK communications providers, preserving consumer access to the Open Internet
- Brings UK approach into line with the new EU Connected Continent Regulation
8 June 2016: The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) today published a new Open Internet Code 2016, signed by major communication providers and with the wider support of the Open Internet Forum.
Following the publication in November 2015 of an independent review into the UK’s industry led approach to the Open Internet, the process to amend the Open Internet and Traffic Management Codes of Practice kick-started yesterday with a meeting of the Open Internet Forum (signatories of the Codes (ISPs), Government, Ofcom, content providers and other interested parties).
Today, the BSG published an independent review into the UK’s industry led approach to the Open Internet. The report, produced by consultancy WIK, found that the UK Open Internet and Traffic Management Codes of Practice have been effective when measured against the principles of an Open Internet. WIK also found that the Codes could continue to add value “over and above the requirements laid out in the Regulation”.
Preserving the Open Internet – BSG Chair Richard Hooper CBE keynote speech at the Broadband World Forumsamiragazzane
Preceding Richard’s speech, Fight for the Future campaigner Evan Greer outlined the key events leading to a fierce public debate and adoption of strong net neutrality rules in the US.
The UK’s approach to the Open Internet was less controversial and lead to positive outcomes for both the industry and the consumer. Richard Hooper, in his speech, presented the success of the Open Internet Code which complemented the earlier Traffic Management Code. Statutory regulation has not been required in the UK to realise an Open Internet. The UK’s approach relies on self-regulation, a competitive landscape and transparency for the consumer.
Read the full speech here.
Broadband Stakeholder Group commissions independent consultancy to assess effectiveness and recommend future developments
The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the Government’s leading advisory group on broadband, is launching a review into the UK’s industry led approach to the Open Internet. The review aims to assess the current structure’s effectiveness, its future under the EU’s Connected Continent Regulation and what improvements can be made to the benefit of consumers and content and service providers.
Consumers’ purchasing choices are driven by quality of experience, choice and transparency of traffic management, reports BERECmatthewevans
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), have published and adopted a timely report on net neutrality and which traffic management policies influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. The headline finding is that consumers unsurprisingly tend to favour packages that align with Open Internet principles*and that as long as “there is transparency, and consumers are able easily to switch provider, such services seem likely to predominate”. This supports the BSG’s view, backed by the UK Government and Ofcom, that transparency and effective competition are the best guarantors of the Open Internet.
Yesterday the European Commission unveiled their proposals on the Digital Single Market, one of President Jean-Claude Juncker’s top 5 priorities.
Their primary goal is to create a market where “individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence”.
On the matter of net neutrality (FT Editorial Obama is only half right about net neutrality et al) I express strong support for the view that the solution lies in creating “a genuinely competitive market for internet access”.