Monitoring compliance with the EU Net Neutrality regulation
The EU Regulation on open internet access (the Regulation) imposes a range of obligations on internet service providers (ISPs) regarding their provision of internet access services (IAS). The aim of the Regulation is to “safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet access services and related end-users’ rights” and “guarantee the continued functioning of the internet ecosystem as an engine of innovation”. To secure these goals, the Regulation imposes measures dealing with the way ISPs manage data traffic on their networks. It also places obligations on ISPs about the terms and conditions of, as well as information contained in, customer contracts for the provision of IAS.
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has published Guidelines on the Implementation by National Regulators of European Net Neutrality Rules. The Guidelines state that the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of the EU Member States “should take utmost account” of the Guidelines, which “should contribute to consistent application of the Regulation, thereby contributing to regulatory certainty to stakeholders.”
Ofcom is the NRA responsible for enforcing the Regulation in the United Kingdom. UK national regulations designate Ofcom as such, and set out Ofcom’s powers. These include the power to impose a penalty of up to 10% of the turnover of the relevant business for breaches of the Regulation. In addition, Ofcom may require operators who have breached the Regulation to take steps to comply with their obligations and to remedy the consequences of their breach.
The Regulation requires NRAs such as Ofcom to monitor and ensure compliance with the Regulation, and to promote the availability of non-discriminatory IAS at levels of quality that reflect advances in technology. The Regulation also requires NRAs to publish an annual report regarding their monitoring and findings, and provide those reports to the European Commission and to BEREC.
This document is a report to the European Commission on our approach to monitoring and ensuring compliance with EU Regulation 2015/2120 on open internet access covering the period from May 2017 to April 2018.