EU regulators take tough approach to net neutrality | Reuters: "The guidelines seen by Reuters say operators will only be able to offer such services over dedicated network capacity if it is "objectively required" and only if it does not negatively affect the Internet.
National regulatory authorities (NRAs) will have to verify whether an application needs to be delivered separately from the rest of the Internet to guarantee a committed level of quality, or "whether they are instead set up in order to circumvent the provisions regarding traffic management", the guidelines say.
Telecoms operators had lobbied strongly against strict rules forbidding them from prioritizing some types of data over others, arguing that they need to be able to dedicate network capacity to services requiring a guaranteed level of quality, such as facilitating the exchange of medical data between patients and health professionals.
Services such as high-quality voice calling on mobile networks, live television delivered over the Internet and remote surgery will likely be allowed as specialized services, the document says.
"Given that we do not know what specialized services may emerge in the future, NRAs should assess whether a service qualifies as a specialized service on a case-by-case basis," it adds.
One industry source said that while it was a positive sign that BEREC had not created a list of what can be considered specialized services, the fact that each new application will have to be assessed individually is a source of uncertainty for operators.
"With restrictive guidelines, you can forget 5G and connected cars," said another industry source.
The regulators say that zero-rating - namely where one application, say, Facebook, does not count toward someone's data usage - will be allowed until they hit their data cap." 'via Blog this'