Saturday, July 04, 2015

Netherlands to vote against "not neutrality" in Council

Google Translate: "The government is dissatisfied with the agreement reached by the EU on guaranteeing net neutrality across Europe.

The Netherlands has already anchored a strict version of net neutrality in the national law, which ensures that Internet providers must treat all traffic equally. The European version of net neutrality, which the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Member States once it was Monday night, offers less stringent guarantees. "There is no prohibition on price discrimination," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Economic Affairs against NU.nl. "The free consumer choice is limited by the price discrimination and for new businesses it will be harder to get a foothold."
At the European Council, Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs promised to vote against any proposal that net neutrality is not strictly guaranteed. At the next meeting of the European Council will therefore Kamp against the current compromise, but it is very likely that the proposal can still be adopted by a majority. 'via Blog this'

Friday, July 03, 2015

Blurry, ambiguous "net neutrality" deal is an abdication of responsibility" - and an academic's research dream!

Blurry, ambiguous "net neutrality" deal is an abdication of responsibility - EDRi: "The “deal” was achieved after three months of “negotiations” between the EU Council (the Member States of the EU) and the European Parliament. At every stage, the Council simply refused to engage in a dialogue. Then, racing to meet the arbitrary deadline created by the end of the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council, this chaotic, sub-standard text was provisionally agreed.

 Now that our political “leaders” have decided that they cannot make a decision, we must wait for unelected judges and regulators to do the hard work.

This is “just” a provisional agreement. First, the explanatory recitals need to be finalised. Then, the EU institutions need to decide if they are really prepared to create such legal uncertainty for European citizens and business. This will become clear in the coming weeks."

EDRi are right - as an academic researcher, it does make the job easier by making definition harder!  'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Lights and darknesses of the European net neutrality deal, simply explained

Lights and darknesses of the European net neutrality deal, simply explained « radiobruxelleslibera: " the nature of ordinary best effort Internet may vary depending on the deployment of the networks and related technology, country by country. In the mobile sector it will also depend on a variety of circumstances (spectrum availability, saturation cells etc). Thus, it will be up to the national regulators to find a solution case by case, with the possibility to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union to render an interpretative ruling. Berec could also be request to intervene to adopt some guidelines. To sum up, I foresee plenty of litigation.

 And finally, the dark side of the net neutrality reform:

Zero-rating practices are allowed. Such clauses allow an ISP to indirectly discriminate competing or non agreed services simply by differently charging the price of the Internet connectivity used to provide them. in the reform there is a general clause whereby contractual agreements about volumes, price and speed should not affect the freedom of users to get the services they want, but this is a too vague wording to say that zero-rating practices may be challenged when they are anticompetitive. This is the most controversial part of the reform. I would expect the European Parliament to protest against." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Telecoms deal: no net neutrality in Europe

Telecoms deal: Mobile roaming charges ban in 2017 – POLITICO: "In the end, the sides decided that sequestering will be acceptable, as long as it doesn’t affect “general” quality of Internet access, according to the Latvian presidency.

Not everyone will be happy, with net neutrality advocates unlikely to be satisfied with the compromise." 'via Blog this'

Monday, June 29, 2015

How Television Won the Internet - NYT

How Television Won the Internet - The New York Times: "Streaming video is now not only the hottest media draw — 78 percent of United States Internet bandwidth — but, defying the trend, many of its creators are getting paid. Netflix bills itself as a disrupter of television — except that it is television, paying Hollywood and the TV industry almost $2 billion a year in licensing and programming fees."

They might mention net neutrality too? 'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 18, 2015

EU Council confirms it wants to trade net neutrality for end of roaming charges

Council confirms it wants to trade net neutrality for end of roaming charges:

"“Council [is] willing to move on end of roaming if [the European Parliament] engages on all open issues”, Commissioner Oettinger said this morning.

The Council is so vehemently opposed to net neutrality that the whole issue was discussed in the sparsely attended ministerial meeting on 12 June without the words “net neutrality” being uttered by the either the Council Presidency or even Commissioner Oettinger." 'via Blog this'

AT&T faces $100 million fine for quietly throttling data speeds (update: AT&T responds)

AT&T faces $100 million fine for quietly throttling data speeds (update: AT&T responds): "The news comes less than a week since the FCC's new net neutrality rules officially took effect, but this investigation has been in the works for years now. That's why the Commission is hanging its hat on the 2010 Open Internet Order, a troubled basket of oversight that basically got torn apart by Verizon in court last year. Verizon's near-total legal win could have almost stopped the FCC's investigation in its tracks, but the DC circuit court that heard the case upheld the Order's stance on customer transparency so AT&T's.

Naturally, AT&T and sympathetic commissioners like Ajit Pai contend that the telecom did disclose the slowdowns, and that the FCC just ignored them all. Thing is, senior FCC officials didn't think the disclosures AT&T did make were sufficiently straightforward. As far as they're concerned, AT&T could've talked about its throttling program left, right and center, but it would've been meaningless unless those disclosures made clear what unlimited customers might run into." 'via Blog this'

ETNO wants deregulation to charge OTT for specialized services

Newsletters :: European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association: "We believe that both the European Institutions and the European industry share an underlying common objective: to give Europe the best growth opportunities, by supporting European citizens and businesses with smart services and powerful digital infrastructures. The Digital Single Market Strategy represents an opportunity that we should embrace together." 'via Blog this'

Millions let down by broadband speed ads, says Which?

Millions let down by broadband speed ads, says Which? - BBC News: "Which? wants Ofcom to work with the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure that broadband providers advertise only speeds that are available for the majority of their customers.
It also wants the watchdog to publish data annually showing what proportion of consumers receive the advertised speeds for the main broadband packages." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Net neutrality could become law in Italy - unless internet users would rather opt out

Net neutrality could become law in Italy - unless internet users would rather opt out | ZDNet: "Technically speaking, the bill doesn't completely rule out so-called 'fast lanes', but it does impose some strict limitations that should prevent ISPs from exploiting them to make a non-neutral internet the norm.

First of all, the bill states any traffic prioritization should be explicitly requested by the customer and granted by the provider under an agreement that is separate from their normal broadband contract. Additionally, the prioritization cannot be in any way linked to discounts or other deals associated with their normal broadband plan.

 "The premise of the bill is that having neutral access is a right and the providers cannot strip their users of it. At the same time, users can give up that right by voluntarily asking for prioritization of sort, provided that they do it voluntarily and without having been induced to," Quintarelli said.

 For example, a customer might ask that, on top of their normal (neutral) subscription, their VoIP traffic should be treated as privileged on their access loop so that they could keep having conversations even when, say, some heavy file transfer is going on. The same thing could be put in place for IPTV or cloud backup services' traffic.

 "But it must be the customers asking for it because it fulfills their needs," Quintarelli said. "We are not against traffic shaping per se. We just want to avoid any traffic shaping which could harm competition in the market: the net should be neutral in that respect."" 'via Blog this'

Mobile network's ad-blocking plan: to fight Google

Mobile network's ad-blocking plan: who is it really for?:

"mobile operators in the EU were planning to block advertising for their customers with a network level filter.

They’re said to be using a solution created by Israeli firm Shine which is capable of blocking most advertising from appearing, though “in feed” advertisements like those shown in Twitter will still get through.

It’s thought that initially the ad-blocking will be opt-in, giving the end user a choice if they’d prefer to see ads, but that the unnamed network may eventually extend it to everyone.

 Blocking adverts is something many of us do already using tools like the AdBlock browser extension, but a provider clamping down on them across the network is far more aggressive.

Some may welcome the move. Cutting out adverts - particularly videos - for mobile internet could reduce data usage, saving money for both users and the network. And ads can be annoying.

This means you don’t have to come up with your own ad-blocking solution, which can be slightly more complicated on a mobile device than it is on a desktop or laptop.

 But it seems the plan is not driven by the network’s desire to make things better for us - they’re after a cut of the advertising spoils.

The FT report said: “The idea is to specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues.”" 'via Blog this'

On telecoms, the Council and the Parliament are soon parted

On telecoms, the Council and the Parliament are soon parted – POLITICO: "“We have expressed our views to the Council very clearly that the objective is an abolition of roaming charges as soon as possible,” said Nathalie Vandystad, a Commission spokesperson, adding, “We also agree with the European Parliament that a clear date should be established in the telecom single market regulation for a complete elimination of roaming.”

Other MEPs have also blamed Council for a lack of ambition.

 Róża Thun, a Polish member of the EPP, told POLITICO she was in favor of a name-and-shame approach, and then said: “As far as I know from the leaks, it’s the south…countries that have many tourists want to keep roaming charges: Spain, Italy, Greece, [Croatia]. Do the citizens know how they behave?”" 'via Blog this'