Europe’s top court says net neutrality rules bar ‘zero rating’ – ClearTips

Europe’s top court says net neutrality rules bar ‘zero rating’ – ClearTips

The European Union’s top court has given its first ruling on the block’s net neutrality rules – interpreting the law as preventing the use of commercial ‘zero ratings’ by Internet service providers.

‘Zero rating’ refers to the practice of ISPs offering certain apps / services except their data consumption that refers to tariff free ‘. This is controversial because it may have the effect of penalizing and / or blocking the use of non-zero-rated apps / services, which may be unattainable, while zero-rated apps / services are not – which in turn are subject to net neutrality. The core underpins its promise of fair competition through an equal and level playing field for all things digital.

The Pan-EU Net Neutrality Regulation came into force in 2016 amid concerns it would reduce the level of online playing games rather than a controversy. So the European Union’s (CJEU) first decision to explain the regulation of the court of justice is an important moment for regional digital rights watchers.

Despite the existence of a net neutrality regulation, European carriers have continued to offer packages, such as some ‘zero rate’ apps, such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp, for example – to follow regulations on such proposals Question it. Today’s ruling suggests that they do not.

In another example from Hungary, one of the carrier Telenor The 1GB data tariff (tangled below) consumes unlimited household data for many social apps including Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and Twitter – meaning that all other apps / services are at a disadvantage because the user uses 1GB of allowance. Is throttled by.

CJEU for a preliminary decision on how to understand and enforce Articles 3 (1) and (2) of the Regulation, a Budapest court hearing two actions related to two ‘zero rating’ packages against Telenor. Referenced Internet access protects many rights for end users of services and prevents service providers from entering into agreements or business practices that limit the exercise of those rights – and Article 3 (3), which provides for “equal and non- Gives a general obligation. Discriminatory treatment of traffic “.

The court found that ‘zero rating’ agreements that combine a ‘zero tariff’ with measures to block or slow down traffic associated with the use of ‘zero-zero tariff’ services limit the exercise of rights of end users Are really responsible for. Regulation means and on a significant share of the market.

“Such packages are responsible for increasing the use of preferred applications and services, and accordingly, for reducing the use of other applications and services available, with respect to measures by which providers of Internet access services are technically more Use. Difficult, if not impossible. Furthermore, the greater the number of customers who complete such agreements, the more likely it is that, given its scale, the resulting cumulative effect of those agreements There will be a significant limitation in the exercise of the rights of end users, or even reduce the very essence. About those rights, ”the court writes in a press release.

It was also found that any evaluation of the effect of measures to block or slow traffic on the exercise of rights of end users is required by regulation, while measures implemented for commercial (rather than technical) reasons are automatically considered inconsistent should go.

The full CJEU decision is available here in French and Hungarian.

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