Mobile UK responds to Ofcom’s updated Net Neutrality guidance
Mobile UK, the trade association for the UK’s four mobile network operators welcomes the updated Ofcom guidance on net neutrality, published today, but urges further action to assure equal access for all.
Net neutrality is the concept that states that organisations, such as internet service providers, should treat all data on the Internet equally.
Mobile UK has identified that reform of the net neutrality regulations is one of the key measures that should be enacted to improve the investment outlook for the UK telecommunications companies (telcos) and the online market more generally.
It highlights that the UK’s regulations, transposed from EU law, are some of the most restrictive across the world economy. For example, detailed rules on traffic management and the zero-rating of internet sites restrict the telcos’ ability to innovate and manage networks efficiently.
Reforming the net neutrality regulations and therefore, rebalancing the bargaining power of the telcos and the content providers would go some way to addressing this problem. Telcos would also have greater freedom to create innovative packages and services, including for those on the lowest incomes which in turn would support the Government in addressing the digital divide.
As the Government delivers on its Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, this is one of the key reforms it must put in place.
Commenting in response to the revised guidance, Hamish MacLeod, Chief Executive of Mobile UK said: “Mobile UK welcomes Ofcom’s updated guidance on Net Neutrality. The revised guidance gives extra clarity, which should assist in the design of new services and tariffs.
“However, as Ofcom acknowledged during its consultation, they are constrained by the law and this was as far as they could go within existing rules. We now ask the Government to remove the regulations which are hindering investment and innovation, and replace them with a principles-based code which protects basic freedoms but promotes innovation.”