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Mr Micas Open Internet & Net Neutrality DigiWorld Summit 2011 IDATE
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Mr Micas Open Internet & Net Neutrality DigiWorld Summit 2011 IDATE






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    Mr Micas Open Internet & Net Neutrality DigiWorld Summit 2011 IDATE Mr Micas Open Internet & Net Neutrality DigiWorld Summit 2011 IDATE Presentation Transcript

    • The open internet and net neutrality in Europe Christian Micas DG Information Society and Media European Commission
    • Disclaimer
      • The views expressed in this presentation are the views from the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views from the European Commission
    • The internet today
      • Engine for innovation which owes much of its success to being open and easily accessible
      • Decoupling of services and networks decreases barriers to entry for service and content providers
      • Borderless provision of services, applications and content
    • Internet – the policy challenge
      • Internet applications require increasing network capacity and quality of service.
      • Access remains a bottleneck
      • The public policy challenge is to foster investment, innovation and competition while preserving the open and neutral character of the internet
    • What is net neutrality
      • No commonly agreed definition of net neutrality but it can be understood to mean:
      • End-users should have the ability to access and distribute information or run applications and services of their choice
    • The issues
      • Core issue is what is considered as reasonable traffic management
        • Blocking of VoIP services such as Skype by mobile operators
        • Throttling of traffic during peak-time for particular packages – eg BBC iPlayer in the UK
        • Additional charges for particular internet services
    • New legislative framework
      • Amendments were made to the Telecoms framework. Adopted in December 2009
      • Several changes are geared toward Net Neutrality-related issues
      • Had to be transposed into national laws by May 2011
    • The Commission Declaration
      • In a declaration attached to the Telecoms framework which was adopted in November 2009, the European Commission noted its commitment to
      • « preserving the open and neutral character of the internet  taking full account of the will of the co-legislators now to enshrine net neutrality as a policy objective and regulatory principle to be promoted by national regulatory authorities »
    • New Policy Objective
      • Article 8 (§4) (g) of the Framework Directive
      • NRAS should promote the interests of the citizens of the European Union by promoting the ability of end-users to access and distribute information or run applications and services of their choice
    • Communication by the Commission
      • Adopted in April 2011
      • Extensive public consultation
      • Joint summit organised together with the European Parliament
    • EU Policy Objectives
      • To promote effective competition
      • To promote the interests of citizens
      • To contribute to the development of the Internal market
    • 1. Promoting competition
      • Access regulation based on the imposition of symmetrical and asymmetrical remedies
      • Effective level of competition achieved in retail broadband markets
    • Competition in retail broaband •••
    • 2. Promoting the interests of citizens
      • Transparency
      • Quality of service
      • Consumer switching
    • a) Transparency Rules
      • Contracts must include information on any procedures put in place by the provider to measure and shape traffic so as to avoid filling or overfilling of a network link
      • NRAs also have powers to ask operators to publish information in a comparable manner
    • b) Minimum Quality of Service
      • In order to prevent the degradation of service and the hindering or slowing down of traffic over networks, NRAs are able to set minimum quality of service requirements
    • Situation in Europe
      • There have been issues in a few Member States with blocking of VoIP providers and throttling of certain bandwidth hungry applications but so far NRAs have been able to tackle such issues
    • Advertised v. Effective Speed
      • Only 66% of EU households perceive that the effective speed of their connection meets the advertised speed (Eurobarometer, March 2011)
      • The Commission has launched fieldwork measurement across the EU
    • c) Consumer Switching
      • Contract conditions: right to withdraw
      • Number portability in one day
      • Operators must offer the possibility to subscribe to a contract with a maximum duration of 12 months.
    • Promoting the Internal Market
      • Heterogeneity in the implementation of EU legislation in the Member States comes at a very high cost for service providers and their customers
      • Market fragmentation is a barrier to the exploitation of EU economies of scale
    • Situation in the Member States
      • Proposed legislation in the Netherlands would ban price differentiation according to applications or services used.
      • The concerns of consumers and Dutch Parliamentarians are legitimate
      • However, this initiative bears the risk of further market fragmentation
    • Follow-up from Communication
      • Commission has asked BEREC to look into these issues in more detail particularly on:
        • Blocking
        • Throttling of traffic
        • Transparency and quality of service
        • Barriers to switching operators
    • Next steps
      • Commission will publish by next year year evidence on any instances of blocking or throttling certain types of services
      • Commission will decide on whether additional guidance or more stringent measures are required.
    • Thank you very much for your attention! •••