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This blog monitors and reports on broadband policy and marketplace developments in the UK, Europe and worldwide that are likely to be of interest to the Janet community. Posts here may also reference my Broadband Policy Watch blog and you can also find me on Twitter.

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Net neutrality update June 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 14:11

Ofcom published a report to the European Commission on its approach to monitoring and ensuring compliance with European regulations on open internet access from May 2016 to April 2017. Ofcom found that “there are no major concerns regarding the openness of the internet in the UK” but also identified that there are “some areas that require improvement in ISP compliance with the Regulation. We will continue our work on the provision of speeds and other information by ISPs during 2017-18, as well as the monitoring of ISPs’ practices, and will open investigations as appropriate.” Also see commentary from ISP Review.

The European Commission Directorate-General for Competition published Zero-rating practices in broadband markets, a report exploring the practice of excluding some traffic from overall data caps. Zero-rating is not explicitly prohibited by current European net neutrality guidelines. The report acknowledges that while practice can “impact on competition between internet service providers (ISPs) and content and application providers (CAPs)”, there is currently “little reason to believe that zero-rating gives rise to competition concerns.” The study found that the practice tends to be much more prominent in the case of mobile than fixed broadband services and also sets out an initial framework for the competition assessment of zero-rating practices. Again see commentary from Out-Law.

Wednesday 12th July 2017 will be a day of action in support of net neutrality, protesting against proposals by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reverse the classification of broadband internet access as a Title II service under the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order (more background on this here and here). Also see commentaries from BBC News and Ars Technica.