06 June, 2016

EU Open Internet Guidelines: let’s not slow down our 5G ambition

BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, has published today their Draft Open Internet Guidelines. The draft is now open to public consultation until 18 July 2016.

ETNO, the Association representing Europe's leading telecom operators, unequivocally shares the Open Internet principles. In line with this, our companies are also strong advocates of an innovation-conducive environment. One in which big and small companies have the freedom to launch new services and innovative products that improve the life of people and create new growth opportunities.

In this context, we express our concern with any overly-prescriptive approach to the implementation of Open Internet rules, which would risk to hamper growth, innovation and service quality well beyond the telecoms industry.

As Europe moves towards a 5G-scenario, telco regulation needs to allow enough space for innovators to launch new services and products such as connected cars, industrial sensors, e-Health facilities or IPTV.

More specifically, a restrictive interpretation of traffic management rules would hamper the telcos’ ability to meet network requirements in a 5G-society. Quality, latency and reliability are essential to the delivery of new services and connected products.

In addition to this, we believe that the final text of the Guidelines should not limit or restrict our ability to differentiate consumer offers and provide zero-rated services. On the one hand, this would deprive users from advantageous tariffs. On the other hand, it would open up legal uncertainty as to the consistency of the Guidelines with the Open Internet Regulation.

ETNO Chairman Steven Tas said: “Let’s prioritise users and innovation. A restrictive implementation of Open Internet rules will slow-down Europe’s 5G ambitions”.

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