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Monday, December 14, 2009

Norwegians give us a Merry Christmas!

Co-regulation explained in some detail by the Norwegian regulator (I picked this up 10 months late from the Council of Europe's working party on self/co-regulation and the Internet).
Some highlights:

A. The capacity and quality of the Internet connection is to be clearly specified.
This principle states that Internet users are to be given sufficient information about the
characteristics of the Internet connection, so that they know what resource is being provided for
communication with the Internet in the form this has traditionally had. This is normally referred to
as “best effort” Internet. It is how this resource is managed that is described in Principles 2 and 3.
B. If the connection is shared with other services, it must be stated clearly how the capacity is
shared between Internet traffic and the other services.
The connection service that a customer subscribes to from a provider shall have as its primary
function – or one of its primary functions – to provide the end user with access to the Internet. If
other services are provided to the user in addition to the Internet connection, the subscription
terms must state how the use of the other services will affect the Internet access capacity...

The principle of network neutrality shall not be interpreted in a manner at variance with current law.
For example, the unlawful distribution of copyrighted content with the aid of P2P file sharing would
still be an illegal act by the user. Furthermore, the current practice of ISPs to block child
pornography will not infringe this principle. The same may be said regarding spam filters and
measures to counteract denial-of-service attacks and infected PCs. It will be in the interest of all
users for the ISP to protect the network through which its users communicate. The ISPs are to
publish as well as inform all users of all measures of this type...

As the competition for bandwidth will typically occur on particular places on the network, either
network internal connections, external peering/transit connections and the actual access
connection, the principle should apply to all types of communication lines within the framework that
the connection contracts (subscription contracts, peering/transit contracts, SLAs, etc.) set. An
absolutely fair sharing of bandwidth for all Internet users applied to all communication lines would
be difficult to achieve in practice. Inherent in the principle, however, is that there must be no
unreasonable manipulation or degradation of traffic for individual data streams...

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