European guidelines for open internet regulations have been amended in response to European Court decisions in German zero-rating cases. This shows that zero-rating services are not allowed if a distinction is made based on the type or categories of traffic. The revised guidelines are published on the website of BEREC, the advisory body for European telecommunication regulators.
This was reported by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). With a zero rating, providers do not charge traffic for certain types of content or applications. ACM has been Chairman of the BEREC Board of Directors since last year. Over the past year, the service has contributed to the revision of the Open Internet’s Guidelines. ACM uses this to monitor compliance with rules regarding the open internet.
Processing Internet traffic without discrimination
ISPs in Europe must handle internet traffic without discrimination. Practically speaking, this means that they must treat all internet traffic the same way, so that the internet can continue to develop freely and independently. This is called net neutrality and is stipulated in the Open Internet Regulations. ISPs are not allowed to unnecessarily block or restrict Internet traffic.
With a zero rating, a certain type of Internet traffic is not charged. Think video or music streaming apps. The European Court ruled that this constituted discrimination and therefore inconsistent with the Open Internet Regulation.
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