BEREC-Konsultation zu Netzneutralitätsregeln

Im Herbst 2015 hat das EU-Parlament die europäische Netzneutralitätsverordnung verabschiedet, seit einigen Tagen ist nun der Entwurf der technischen Richtlinien zur Netzneutrlitätsverordnung von BEREC (dem Verband der Telekommunikationsregulierer der EU-Länder) veröffentlich worden. Bis zum 18. Juli 14:00 können interessierte an der Konsultation teilnehmen, Beiträge dazu sind per Mail an zu richten.

Meinen Konsultationsbeitrag habe ich eben abgeschickt:

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,

First of all I would like to thank you for your work on the guidelines
on implementation of net-neutrality rules according to regulation
2015/2120 and the chance to comment on the draft.

In 1997 I had my first contact with the internet via a local computer
and internet club, which helped citizens getting access to the internet
and trains them on how to use services and applications. During my time
as a university student, the internet was an important source for
lectures and research information. Now working as a software developer,
internet access without blocked or throttled services and applications
is still crucial for me.

Concerning "specialised services" and zero-rating contracts, I prefer a
strict approach, requiring technical rather than economical necessities
for QoS. Allowing ISPs to implement any kind of discrimination between
CAPs would negatively influence the development of new internet based
services or applications. In addition it would also negatively influence
the economical development of smaller ISPs, as their market power (i.e.
number of subscribers) is not sufficient to get the same payment for
"specialised services" from CAPs as the bigger ISPs. Hence the bigger
ISPs will be able to profit from a double sided market - as they already
try to do within the IP-interconnection/peering-sector - and maybe lower
the end user prices to a level which cannot be offered by smaller ISPs
which don't profit from a double sided market.

Here are my comments to some of your guideline paragraphs:

Regarding IP-interconnection/peering

As you mentioned in par. 6, IP-interconnection/peering policies can be
abused to circumvent the net-neutrality regulation by facilitating
insufficient (i.e. recurringly congested) interconnection capacities for
normal IAS and only installing sufficient capacities towards certain CAPs.

Par. 15 should require ISPs to implement an IP-interconnection/peering
policy which provides sufficient capacities and prevents recurring

Par. 56 should emphasize that ISPs should not only provide transparent
information about traffic management measures to NRAs but also to
end-users. These information should also include details on overbooking
factors of networks and IP-interconnection/peering capacities.

Par. 112 & 113 should mention that not only sufficient network capacity
is required to provide a "specialised service" but also sufficient
IP-interconnection/peering capacity.

Par. 158ff. should require the certified monitoring systems to also be
designed to monitor performance issues caused by insufficient
IP-interconnection/peering. This could help NRAs to detect
IP-interconnection/peering policies aimed at circumventing the regulation.

Par. 164 should also include monitoring of IP-interconnection/peering
capacities in the supervision duties of the NRAs.

Regarding zero-rating

Par. 36 - 40 should also consider commercial practices influencing end
users' exercise of rights (instead of directly limiting them) like
zero-rating of specific applications to be an infringement of the
regulation. Such practices force end users to prefer a specific
application (and hence CAPs) which discriminates other CAPs providing
applications of the same category and might even discourage new CAPs
from entering the market as they could not compete with existing CAPs
due to existing zero-rated applications.

ISPs offering contracts with zero-rated applications (or classes of
applications) should be required to offer a comparable service without
zero-rating at a reasonable price (i.e. without prohibitive high pricing).

Par. 45 should be clarified: The second point is in contrast to allowing
certain types of zero-rating: Zero-rating always causes some
applications or classes of applications (those that are not zero-rated)
to have a higher effective data price as other(s). E.g. if there is a
mobile tariff plan at 10 EUR including 1 GB of data volume and
zero-rating a specific music streaming application, then the price of 1
MB of the specific music streaming application is 0 while any other data
is at 0,01 EUR per MB (and therefore at a higher price). So there is a
strong disincentive to use any other music streaming service than the
zero-rated one.

Regarding "specialised services"

Par. 101 should not allow "specialised services" to circumvent
regulation on zero-rating. E.g. the combination of a regular IAS with
limited data volume and a "specialised service" for a certain IP-TV
service with unlimited data volume should not be allowed as it
influences the end user’s decision on which IP-TV service to use.

Par. 118 should ensure that the end user's IAS performance shall not be
impacted by currently unused "specialised services". Furthermore, it
should be added that ISPs offering "specilised services" have to provide
a way for end users to configure the priorisation on the dedicated last
mile (e.g. to allow an end user to reserve a minimum of 60% of the
access speed for the IAS).

Regarding terminal equipment

Par. 23 should define the NTP as passive component to prevent ISPs from
declaring their preferred routers as NTP and thereby forcing customers
to buy or rent certain models.

I hope you can take my comments into consideration for a further
refinement of the guidelines, as I consider strict net-neutrality rules
as crucial for the development of the internet.

Kind regards,

Daniel Weber