Zero-Rating as a ticking time bomb for Net Neutrality
How does Net Neutrality fare after being passed into European law? In his talk “Net Neutrality Enforcement in the EU” at the 34. Chaos Communication Congress (#34C3) Thomas Lohninger examines the first full year of enforcement in the EU: Comparing the enforcement of Net Neutrality in the individual EU member states, showcasing a few of the more creative Net Neutrality violations and demonstrating what civil society can do to keep the Internet neutral:
Net Neutrality is the principle that all data transfers on the internet should be treated equally. It gives users the right to choose the content and services they wish to see and use online and prevents ISPs from acting as gatekeepers. Net Neutrality also guarantees equal access to the global Internet to all ideas, innovations and opinions without centralized control.
Since August 2016, the EU has had a regulatory regime protecting Net Neutrality that now has to be enforced by the national telecoms' regulatory authorities. Unfortunately, we observe very different results in different EU member states with Germany presenting a particularly negative example. In this context, our NGO epicenter.works has focused its enforcement work on a product of Deutsche Telekom called "StreamOn". We will showcase our work on that product analyzing the offer, raising awareness, submitting complaints with the regulator, and speaking at the annual general meeting of Deutsche Telekom AG.
Watch the video of our talk on “Net Neutrality Enforcement in the EU” and the dangers of Zero-Rating by Thomas Lohninger now:
Click here to watch our second talk at 34C3: "Die Sprache der Überwacher"
Thomas Lohninger on Zero-Rating:
"Zero-Rating is the practice of the exemption certain applications from your monthly data volume. So certain data is more expensive and the partner services are free."
Thomas Lohninger on the effects of Zero-Rating products:
"Suddenly using a new cool service is no longer a question of signing up on their website, but changing the access product that you have...
Suddenly the Internet is no longer a universal plug that connects you to the whole globe and all of its innovative capacity and everything that will be invented tomorrow...
No ... you have a two year subscription with your telecommunications company."
Thomas Lohninger on getting your service Zero-Rated in Europe:
"There are 25 mobile operators in Germany alone. 25 contracts you have to keep up with. 25 partners you have to notify every time you make a change to your own service. In Europe it would be 3,000 ...
What would happen is that you just choose the biggest ISPs (Internet Service Providers) with the largest user base and simply forget the smaller ones."