The Federal Network Agency decided that parts of a zero-rating tariff option by Deutsche Telekom infringe the principle of net neutrality and EU-roaming rules, but does not put the general principle of zero-rating into question.
Deutsche Telekom’s “StreamOn” tariff option allows its customer to use specific data-intensive audio and video services without reducing the high-speed data volume of the customer’s mobile phone contract.
Critics argued that such zero-rating infringes the principle of net neutrality as it arguably privileges certain, typically commercially powerful, providers. In contrary to this criticism, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur; BNetzA) did not put the general principal of zero-rating into question as it closed its investigation into the offerings structure.
Rather, the BNetzA found faults in details, for example that Deutsche Telekom does not treat video and audio services equally when reducing the data rate and that StreamOn can not be used in EU countries outside Germany which would violate roaming regulations.
Deutsche Telekom has two weeks time to remedy these faults. If Deutsche Telekom does not comply, the Federal Network Agency may order to stop the service or issue fines.