Although there is no universally applicable definition on net neutrality, this concept basically reflects the idea that Internet Service Providers should treat internet traffic which is transmitted via their networks equally.
The Telecoms Single Market (TSM) Regulation ((EU) 2015/2120 – TSM-Regulation) implements some aspects of this concept into EU law, and limits the possibilities for Internet Service Providers to block, throttle or discriminate internet traffic. Pursuant to Article 5 para 1 of the TSM-Regulation national regulatory authorities (NRAs) shall publish annual net neutrality reports and provide those reports to the EU Commission and to the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).
As set out in the BEREC Guidelines on the Implementation by National Regulators of European Net Neutrality Rules (Guidelines), the reports should be published by 30th June for the periods starting from 1st May to 30th April, whereby the first report is to be provided on 30th June 2017. BEREC recommended that NRAs should include at least the following sections in their annual reports:
- overall description of the national situation regarding compliance with the TSM-Regulation;
- description of the monitoring activities carried out by the NRA;
- the number and types of complaints and infringements related to the TSM-Regulation;
- main results of surveys conducted in relation to supervising and enforcing the TSM-Regulation;
- main results and values retrieved from technical measurements and evaluations;
- conducted in relation to supervising and enforcing the TSM- Regulation;
- an assessment of the continued availability of non-discriminatory internet access services at levels of quality that reflect advances in technology; and
- measures adopted/applied by NRAs pursuant to Article 5(1).
In the meantime several NRAs have published their annual net neutrality reports, e.g. the German Bundesnetzagentur (Link), the Austrian RTR (Link) and Ofcom in the UK (Link). These reports provide an interesting insight into the activities of the NRAs, in particular in regard to “hot net neutrality topics” such as zero-rating, port blocking, specialized services. On the basis of the national reports and the ongoing data collection by BEREC, BEREC will provide an report on the implementation of the TSM-Regulation and the Guidelines.