Searching for a common European model on net-neutrality – WS 03 2013
20 June 2013 | 14:30-16:00
Programme overview 2013
- Jean-Jacques Sahel, Skype
- Pedro Veiga, University of Lisbon
- Narine Khachatryan, Media Education Center
- Giacomo Mazzone, EBU
- Frederic Donck, ISOC Europe
- Vladimir Radunovic, DiploFoundation
- Ana Olmos, IGF Spain
- ISPs interest lies in looking out for their customers and offer exactly what they are asking for.
- Defining an “appropriate” traffic management.
- Managed services can be good in terms of innovation, user experience and dynamism in the ecosystem, but it needs to happen “beside the open Internet”.
- Calling for complete transparency in ISPs’ offers.
All speakers agreed with Ms. Kroes’s recent statement that “transparency, customer choice, competition and the ability to switch providers” are the key aspects to net neutrality; however, while some stressed that this was sufficient in a competitive environment with strong regulatory bodies and consumer-oriented ISPs, others considered these aspects not enough: with statistics of restricted access in Europe and reference to trends in Europe (Slovenia, Norway, France, -just learned- Luxemburg and, of course, Netherlands choosing to legislate to protect net neutrality and the open character of the Internet), they argued that further issues need to be tackled.
Regarding the ISP’s interest, it was laid out that ISPs will be tempted to block traffic as a way of eliminating competition with over-the-top players; on the other hand, it was argued that in a data-centric Internet with plenty of competition at the ISP level, it is actually in the best interest of ISPs to look out for their customers and offer exactly what they are asking for. Everybody seems to agree on the concept of “open Internet” and everybody is wary of restriction, whether it be applied in one sense (restricting traffic and over-the-top innovation) or the other (restricting innovation across the value chain).
The second question addressed was about defining “appropriate” traffic management. The Dutch law allows exceptions under which traffic can be managed: congestion, integrity and security, court orders.
On the issue of managed services, everybody agreed that it’s a good thing in terms of innovation, user experience and dynamism in the ecosystem. However, some speakers pointed out, all of this needs to happen “beside the Open Internet”. In the Netherlands, QoS services are encouraged, as long as they are offered “in addition” to the best-effort Internet, which must remain neutral by law. ETNO argued that ISPs do not want to lose customers and will offer the best-effort Internet in response to the demand, and that regulators have enough mechanisms and power to control it.
Some argued that the future Internet is likely going to be mainly content-driven and geared towards entertainment. Interesting services can be offered but they need a guaranteed QoS. However, the question remains whether their interest would lead them to give preferential treatment to IP-based services, turning best-effort Internet into a dirt road, or if their interest would side with the customer. On this issue, the audience called for complete transparency in the ISPs’ offers and there was some discomfort over the fact that public content may be contaminated in a managed services scenario.
On the challenge of regulating for an unknown future and the capacity to remain flexible and accommodating, Ørnulf Storm argued in favor of Norway’s work on co-regulatory principles, instead of law, as most convenient. Marieke Pondman argued that the flexibility was achieved in the Dutch law by not regulating in a quantitative way (establishing QoS or minimum traffic) and opening the law to the idea of development of specialized services. ETNO, however, stressed the danger of regulation and alerted against the dangers of a fragmented Internet due to national regulations (instead of harmonizing a European approach).
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> Okay, time to start. Thank you, everyone for coming. It’s a very intimate set-up of the room. We unfortunately missed to bring more drinks and things so everyone becomes more relaxed, but I hope we’ll make the atmosphere relaxed and hot at the same time, so you’re required to be here afterwards.
We’ve been talking about net neutrality for a long time. We’ll try not to repeat the things we’ve already been discussing. An initiative when the EuroDIG this year was organised by a number of people to organise a net neutrality session. We tried to outline some of the hardest topics so we could move forward, you’ve seen on the website, the outline of the session, but you’ll see very soon what we prepared to discuss.
With us today, we have basically, first, we have all of you. That’s really most important. We will try, Frederic and I will try to make you one of the most important participants of this. On this side of the table, we have a couple fellows setting up the stage and helping us map different positions.
I’ll go, um, from the lady first. And apologize, if I don’t pronounce the name correctly. Marieke Pondman from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
We have Ornulf Storm, we have Jean-Jacques Sahel from Skype and a number of friends over there. I’ll mention them as well. Who helped us prepare all this. Christoph Steck from Telefonica. Narine Khachatryan from Romania, remotely there. Pedro Veiga and so forth. My colleague Frederic Donck and me, Vladimir Radunovic.
We’ll try to run through a couple questions. I’ll try to focus on Twitter throughout this discussion. We have remote participation and Sorina will help with remote participation. Ana will try to pick up some of the notes and help us prepare the reports. She’ll try to summarize at the end. I want to drink some more water, so, Frederic, start.
>> Frederic Donck: Can you hear me okay? Okay, we organise so we have room in this room, nobody can escape. My first question to our panelists today is, we’re all awaiting Mrs. Cruise’ statement on network very soon. The latest news we have is that she really, strongly reaffirmed, um, her belief on what are the key to unlock the network neutrality issues. Transparency, the ability for customers to switch providers, easily, and competition.
So, with that in mind, she tells us that that should be the key. So my question for you is, is it enough? I mean, do you believe that this is indeed the key or is it something else? I have my own opinion, which I won’t share it today, but I’d love to hear from you guys if you believe that it will solve any discussion we might have in the future if we have this recipe. Luigi, why don’t you start?
>> Luigi Gambardella: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Also, because you have asked me to try to be provocative. As you said, not try to repeat, if you want, I can do that, but what is our position? I don’t know whether you want to try to introduce new element in the discussion or you prefer that I can repeat what is –
>> Frederic Donck: Is it key or not?
>> Luigi Gambardella: I think that we believe that today, in Europe, first, there is, there is one important element that Europe is one of the most competitive regions in the world. We are in the European, uh, users, customers, cities and benefit the lowest price for access to the internet in Europe, compared with other regions of the world.
We have a lot of competition. We have many competitors in Europe. And we have, um, important tool which guarantees that the regulators, they can watch what’s happening and they can intervene if there are bad behavior.
But we are very strong Telecom authority and also have very strong power in the hands of the antitrust.
We share the idea that is needed and we are very open on this and we want to work on this, how to improve the level of transparency if something has to be done, we are available to discuss as Telecom operator and do what is needed to increase the level of transparency.
The regulators hold the power to intervene, to check in and control a minimal level of quality that should be guaranteed. And so far, there are some, uh, interactive, for the, the cities and the production of the cities, which we have all the tools. If something bad happens, it’s possible for the regulators to intervene and to fix the problem.
Why do we need a new law in Europe? We should take into account that a part of the Netherlands, as far as I know, only Chile has an internet rule in the world, in the U.S. it’s been debated, there are so far no legislation and in the U.S., the level of price is much higher if you compare with U.S.
I think this is a crucial matter, but I think, now let’s keep moving to the second part, much more provocative part of my information, data, perhaps we shouldn’t limit the discussion to the access to the network as such and the fact, whether there are restrictions, which, by the way, we are against restrictions and negative behavior, but what, what we should see, what we should think is that European cities, they don’t like restrictions when they want to see, to have access to content.
And we know that some big internet players, they, they put in place several restrictions. You know, for example, that is not possible, there’s no interoperability between if I’m a customer, one big internet provider, I cannot use another service. So there are several aspects that we should look at. As I said, today, before, we are very in favor of an open internet and I think it’s interesting to keep it open and even more open than it is today. And if there are some behaviors or someone who tries to restrict the access to internet, to limit, I think we should have a look whether there are problems. The problems are not only the Telecom operators. Can be also with other players of the same.
>> Moderator: Thank you for this. I keep the further part for discussion, my take is transparency and competition is okay, we should just stay there. Very positive, um, I just know that the break in 2012 was not positive with the same landscape. I see a hand there. Could you please just answer to the question.
>> Yes, thank you and thank you for the opportunity to be here at the panel and comment on, on these issues. I think I just wanted to say that from the Norwegian perspective, we do share the same goal as the commission, that’s to preserve the internet, open and nondiscriminatory platform for all types of communication and content distribution.
But, but we do believe that transparency, and ECS switching isn’t enough to ensure net neutrality. We do believe that the complete net neutrality is the guarantee for the continued innovation of new applications and content on the internet that have served our economy so well up until now. I think we should also ensure that it stays that and still will be this innovative factor, thank you.
>> Moderator: Thank you very much. Can I swish to Jean-Jacques, and then to you Marieke. Please, Jean-Jacques, go.
>> Jean-Jacques Sahel: Three words. Transparency, switching and competition. Is that enough to protect net neutrality or the open character of the internet? And, of course it all depends on how you detail those free terms and what processes you put behind. But if you just look at the state of affairs, and we quote, uh, a formal report, which, uh, Frederic just mentioned. What they found is that, um, something like up to 50%, I think of mobile users in Europe are customers of operators that restrict, uh, access to VOIP, Voice Over Internet. I think the figure is higher for peer-to-peer.
What I’d tend to show is that although we might have the most competitive framework in the world, and I think that’s, in many respects, it’s true, it doesn’t seem to have been sufficient to preserve net neutrality. I think the figure that someone did the math, we’re talking about 275 million Europeans who are customers of a mobile operator that doesn’t let them use VOIP, why?
So that competition issue just doesn’t seem to address it. In terms of transparency and switching, the directives, last match of Telecom regulations were agreed in 2009. So it’s been almost four years now. And so...operators are supposed to be transparent, um, their switching is supposed to be easier and yet, we still have 50% of the mobile market, that is, uh, restrictive or restricted. I don’t think this is a situation we can call fine. I don’t think we can say that’s, uh, you know, operators in Europe are all in favor of the open internet. I’m glad that some of them are, and many of them are, I think we’ve got some cases, for instance, in the U.K. where operators like Telefonica have signed up to self-regulate the open internet, they cannot restrict content for obvious reasons, but there are many problems, there are countries in Europe where every single mobile ISP restricts access to certain websites.
So there is a problem and the current framework doesn’t seem to have addressed it. I’m not sure it’s because we need automatically new legislation, but it’s perhaps because the current legislation might not have been interpreted or adopted in each national jurisdiction in the right way. I like to think that, for instance, what the Dutch did was a useful clarification of the protections of net neutrality.
Slovenia has introduced net neutrality protections. I think there’s a, there’s a need for much more clarity so we can protect neutrality. The current stage, experience shows us, competition, transparency and switching, strictly speaking, are just not working. We need more. Various approaches across Europe, what’s interesting to me, when I look at what the Netherlands have done, when I look at what Norway has done four years ago now, what Slovenia has done, when I look at French regulations in 2010, they all have broadly the same principles. I think there’s regulating best practice. We have a very good idea of what should be the principles to respect in terms of net neutrality. What we need to have now is those same principles accepted and, and respected across Europe. So I think Germany’s talking about it at the moment. Elections are coming, but maybe if we can hurry up during the summer, we might have it before the elections, that’d be great. But maybe taking steps for the commission to put a series of principles in place that mirror what we see like in the Netherlands.
>> Moderator: Thank you. Jean-Jacques.
>> Marieke Pondman: I think where we are today, we’re not in disagreement with what is said about the principles being put down, competition, switching, consumer choice, transparency, these are the principles we all strive for. The thing is that we need to have a common line on how to protect those and, in the Netherlands. We had a debate like what we have years ago, where the outcome was that at this moment, there, it was not protected sufficiently and, uh, the government acted and, uh, or basically, it was a debate in Parliament and it led to an amendment to a law which was in chambers back then. It turned into law, just to make sure to put the principles in law, just to make sure that, that, if you say that you’re going to work for transparency, you have to put your, yeah, yeah, you have to make your, to act upon it, and that’s exactly what we did. And it was just the democratic outcome of a long debate. You can have a long debate on what kind of affects it has on the market, but I was just discussing this with colleagues yesterday and you can have a long debate, like for instance on the economic crisis, there’s one group of people saying, okay, we really need to work on national debt, and we have to cut costs, et cetera, just to make sure the future is okay and the others, the other part says “no, we need to invest in the future.” The same is with net neutrality. At one point you need to make a decision what you want to stand for.
We’ve decided, the best way to protect the consumer’s interest, to protect innovation, was by law. This is something we hope will find European equivalence soon.
>> Moderator: Thank you, from the room, anyone from the room want to just ask question? Take the floor? Christoph?
>> The microphone is there.
>> I’d rather like to comment on, not so much a question, but, uh, I think when you, when we discuss these economic issues around the internet, it’s always good to think about interests. We have a lot of headlines and a lot of quoting, a lot of numbers and, and you know, people play around with it, but I think follow the interest. When you look at the interest of the Telecom industry in Europe, I think this has changed quite a lot. In the past, when you bought your mobile subscription, you bought a voice and maybe SMS service and then there was something which was data and it was basically given to you for a small amount of money and it was usually a flat rate.
And that was what happened in the past. I think that we’re moving now, into a world which will be data-centric. You try to get the best subscription you can find in your market. You’ll see most operators will move to bundle towers, and data-centric towers.
In the end, there’s no interest or incentive of operators to really block you know, community matters, anticompetitive matters on the internet.
This is the truth. So I think that looking forward, I think we talk about regulation, you have to look forward and not so much backwards all the time. Looking forward, you will see that this is where the market is heading to. There is clearly that internet access is the key, um, the key part of your, of your contract with, with an operator.
And what that means is that, I think abuse, if there is abuse, and there might be cases happening around Europe, but these kind of abuses were in the competitive marketplace, go away. I’m totally sure about that. My company is not blocking, my company’s not doing that. Having said that, if there is someone doing it, feel free to come to my company. Honestly.
In Germany, a couple years ago, some operators had a different strategy. They said they’re not allowed to use VOIP. Most of them changed, by the way. My company went out with a marketing campaign and asking people to use Skype, now owned by Microsoft.
So basically, I think this is what competition brings to you. It brings you the choice, it brings you the possibility to switch and if there are problems with switching, transparency, let’s talk about that. This is the key element of keeping internet access open, is to give this competition.
And just a final thought, looking forward, again, currently, while we sit here, you see 4G LTE networks are across Europe. In most countries, you’ll have three or four LTE networks. What you know today from your fixed DSL connection. What that means is you will have at least two fixed infrastructures in most regions of Europe. You’ll have the cable, a Telecom incumbent infrastructure and four mobile infrastructures. These are six different competing infrastructures to give you access to the internet.
Honestly, this is more than you have in a lot of other industries. I think this is competition and I don’t see the huge cases of persistent abuse we all the time talk about.
>> Moderator: Okay, thank you, Christopher. Before we close this part of the conversation, let me say something to put in the fridge and I give you the floor. There is one point you underline, that is how you see internet access being defined. Some think the view that internet access is actually a relationship between two endpoints, consenting endpoints and we don’t need to interject or inject someone in the middle of this agreement. That’d be the access providers or the network providers. Maybe there is something discussed here in terms of definition, but I’ll keep that for later. Lee and Luigi again?
>> Thank you very much. A few weeks ago, we had a little round table dialogue on net neutrality and human rights. It was mentioned this morning that the seven Member States have discussed net neutrality. In 2010 and 2009, EuroDIG 2009, we’ve also discussed public service value of the internet. There are links between human rights, freedom of expression, access to information, right to seek information and impart information and discrimination.
On one part you have the freedom part, on the other part you have the concern about Depac inspection and right to private life. We also looked at, um, different legislation, the Dutch, Slovenian law, the French were involved in the discussion and the Norwegian friends were there too, amongst many other actors. It was quite clear, whether they used the word human rights, access to information, open and neutral character of the internet, it’s quite clear that – this is my interpretation – the internet is something quite special, quite atypical. It’s hard to lock it down and control it and discriminate it in a way that people feel they’re being discriminated. You see the revolt in the Netherlands. You see this concern about open and neutral character. Trying to restrict, trying to control. I think people feel quite uneasy. Apart from the economic considerations and some of the arguments made now.
The idea that, for the consulate of Europe’s viewpoint, where’s the slippery slope? Too much information, too much traffic, only in necessary cases’ according to law, specific and clear, then you know, where is it going? So I mean, in Indonesia, it was mentioned there’s something called Facebook zero, whereby when you subscribe to mobile subscription, you get with that subscription, Facebook. And any other competing things you pay for. It’s a bit like the analogy of a shopping mall. Do you want to walk into a space that’s more or less open or a shopping mall that’s more or less closed.
>> Moderator: Thank you, Lee. I’d like to go to the second block of conversation, but Luigi, a few words, please?
>> Luigi Gambardella: Just one comment. It’s scary what Jean-Jacques was saying before. Because of other elections, we can do this thing called net neutrality.
>> That’s not what I said.
>> Luigi Gambardella: You said a good moment.
>> I think it’s not the way – we should reflect, if we want to do something, we should understand why we’re doing this. We should do, understand what are the consequences or the measure that we want to introduce, we should have a proper debate, a transparent debate, not because we have the election and could be a good occasion because they could get votes. I don’t think that’s a way we should, I’ve heard this comment, sorry, not only by you, but several people. They all strive to link the necessity to do something with net neutrality. This could be very good. I think let’s, let’s take, we’re a very important industry. What is needed in Europe is growth, job, investment, innovation and strategy, vision, let’s discuss about this and what, what can do in order to achieve such kind of this result for the [indiscernible]. If we can do this, I think it is not the right way –
>> Moderator: Thanks, Luigi. We got the point.
>> Let me clarify, what I said is as there are actions in Germany coming, I hope this idea of a project of preserving net neutrality will not be lost because as a change of comment, I like the idea not to be abandoned. That’s what I said, I didn’t make any other way of spirit’s point. I just want to quickly react, I like Christoph’s optimism. I like to share it fully, I usually am an optimist, but I heard exactly the same thing in 2009, at the end of a conference on broadband traffic management, by Michael Bufalamu [phonetic]. He said don’t worry, the market’s changing, in a year’s time there won’t be restrictions on VOIP anymore. And we’re four years down the line and it’s still there. If you’re saying it’s going in the right direction, maybe the challenge is to say why don’t ETNO members sign up to the open internet? Stop all the restrictions that ETNO members have got, any regulatory restrictions they have. I’d love to see that happen. Why can’t it happen if it’s all nice and rosy.
>> Marieke Pondman: I’d like to comment. I’m glad they do not block internet traffic. It doesn’t happen anywhere in Europe, but it was exactly in the Netherlands, free of the major mobile providers, just announced they were about to block a very popular SMS app via the internet, for free. And that led exactly to the debate. So we can talk a lot about whether the company or Telecom companies will, are, or are not blocking, but in the end, everyone would basically understand there’s a commercial incentive to cut off possible competition via the internet.
I think this is something, I’m talking now as a representative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. I think this is exactly that, in our ministry to the conclusion, okay, if we want to preserve the innovation, to exactly as somebody just described, just to let everybody get into the shopping mall and get into every shop he wants to go, it should be decided by the consumer. It’s about consumer choice that we’ve had this law on net neutrality. It shouldn’t be a Telecom provider who decides what or what you not use on the internet. That’s the whole point.
I make a link to the second part of the debate. More about the human rights, civil movement, it’s a matter of principle that the consumer or civilian has free access to information. So, this was the two major reasons that we decided that a law was necessary. We could have perhaps chosen another form, but this was the form that was chosen at the time.
Then another point, I agree very much with the representatives, that any focus on the government should be focused on jobs. Not necessarily on the Telecoms market, but I agree with net neutrality, this is the end of the economic growth of Telecom providers. So far, we haven’t seen in evidence that the Telecom providers are not ready to move onto the future. They’re really working on alternative business models and getting more creative. There are so many more opportunities to, to, yes, to make a business and this, in the markets, just using the internet, instead of abusing it.
>> Moderator: If you’d like to say two words, you’ll be the last.
>> A quick comment on the measures then, we’ve had this, most of you probably know this regulation with the principles that, uh, the operators comply with, and of course, we do have a standing order or a task from other ministries and to evaluate if this co-regulation is working or not. Up until now, it has been working in Norway. I think if it, uh, hadn’t, I think also, it would have considered using regulate this by law.
Just also, just quick comment on, on that development on pricing. Because now, in the Norwegian market, the mobile operators just have switched their profile and they’re now not charging for SMSs or minutes anymore on the mobile subscription, they’re just charging a flat, a fixed rate for the subscription, but of course, they’re still charging for a number of megabytes. So, so of course, that has now, that’s reality, now in the Norwegian market. And of course that’s, there’s no incentive to block any applications or do anything, because they will be, they’ll get their income of the number of megabytes, the subscribers are downloading and using the internet. I think that will work and, and I think really, with the incentive or the policing of our co-regulation principles, the operators have not blocked, uh, internet content up until now and I think that’s also, have been part of, also, changing the pricing, uh, how it’s become now, thank you.
>> Moderator: Thank you. Thanks for this. It’s the first interesting exchange. I’d like to get now to one of the core issues of the debate and I’ll leave it up to you.
>> They might have mixed two of us. Previously was Frederic speaking, now it’s Vladimir. For the captioning, afterwards, someone will catch what I said, it was you, we’ll get back to this at the end. To this regulatory approach and whether and how it should be done. The first one is, um, the next 15 minutes, the first one is, maybe back to what Marieke said. When it comes to discrimination of traffic, we don’t want to see this done forsake of competition. Right? So I’d say, doing it for the sake of competition is inappropriate management. Now we have been discussing year-by-year, that we want an open internet, but some type of management of traffic is needed. Always doing it for the sake of the good internet. Now, I’ll start with you, how do we define appropriate management? Can any of you pick up a microphone and in two words, define what you see as appropriate management? Not non-promote, but appropriate. What we’ve been discussing was not appropriate. How would you define what is appropriate?
>> Or reasonable and unreasonable?
>> Anyone? It’s a hard question, huh? Here it is. Please present yourself.
>> My name is Lotstana [phonetic] I come from Germany. I have to come from ISP from the customers up to the system afterwards. A crude point here. What’s appropriate. If I have to operate a network, I came to a situation where something happens badly. Badly means, a lot of people, a lot of customers are affected and they can’t do their work, they can’t get their traffic through simply because few people behaves badly. And the definition of bad, what’s bad, it’s the cruel issue of net neutrality. If I have an attack, I have to make deep packet modification. I have to make blocking. But if I get a request from my management to do this for a reason or simply to offer a new product, then I have the same technology, I have the same issues to do, simply for another reason. And there’s the problem. The problem was the regulation of net neutrality, we need a regulation which allows the operator to react while prohibiting the management from thinking badly. That’s really, really difficult. On the other hand, I’m really scared about the wording here. Almost all people here, talking about customers as customers. We are talking about internet, internet means every participant on the network is allowed to send and to receive. We have both sides of freedom, communication freedom, freedom to receive and freedom to send. So I urge you to use IPV6 as a new model to bring out static prefixes and if you’re going to regulation and think about change of ISPs for the customer, how can he take his IP address space to another customer? Maybe we need other spaces. We have right people here, we can go ask for the addresses.
>> Thank you. I think the bottom line of your first part was definitely the bad behavior in sense of security, which is more or less clear, more or less clear to all of us what that means. But then, this part between the, the techies and the management is a very interesting observation. So we should probably prohibit the management to think about, about traffic management, the management of the company. Anyone else who wants to jump in about defining what appropriate is? Or should I get back, maybe – uh-huh?
>> Jimmy Shultz: Member of German Parliament. I’m involved in the debate on net neutrality for a couple years. Having been on ISP for a couple years also. The problem is, what is appropriate. What is good, uh, and what is bad, on, concerning net neutrality is quite hard to define and it might be even more difficult to write that into a law. But, um, there are some easy things where you can say okay, this is good. If it doesn’t harm anyone, if it doesn’t disturb anyone, if no one, uh, sees it because we all think things go better. For example, Voice Over IP is one example. We all want voice to work over IP and no one will be disturbed if it works better, if it’s managed.
>> Moderator: Thank you. Maybe, maybe to, because, you were probably the first, not the first to bring some kind of guidelines and the guidelines are quite, uh, clear, when it comes to nondiscrimination based on the sender, receiver, type of application, so on. But still, in the third part there, was, of course, some space left for the management. How would you define or how do you, in the Telecom Regulatory Authority define what would be the inappropriate or rather, in this sense, appropriate management?
>> Thank you, I don’t remember the details in our guidelines, but of course, for, for proper management of the network, then of course we have defined that to handle congesting control in the network, et cetera. That’s something that has to be done, of course, to be able, for the ISPs to be able to do. They can be, uh, incidents, especially linked to security, that the ISPs must, sort of certain point in time, in a timeframe, job packets, reduce and stop some traffic. That’s within the area of protecting the network in relation to security threats. That’s something that we have discussed and defined. That is of course, allowed and will not break the net neutrality principles.
>> Moderator: Does it have to be specified in the law? How do you implement it? And how do you measure it? How do you check if there was really breach of appropriate, if we –
>> Marieke Pondman: Obviously, there’s been a lot of thinking about this law. There’s been an effort to define appropriate management and there’s four exceptions to the rule. First is what I’ve just said, to minimize the effects of congestion. Whereby equal tribes of traffic must be treated equally. This is just the law. Second, to preserve the security of the network, to provide in question. To restrict a transmission to an end user, unsolicited communication within the meaning of article 11. I think it’s, uh, data retention. And the third, fourth is to implement the list, legislative provision or court order. These are the four limited. It’s limited list that was more or less decided as appropriate management.
>> Luigi, is it the appropriate one? Is there anything we missed?
>> Luigi Gambardella: I think this discussion is showing how it can be difficult in general to regulate internet and enter in such kind of technical detail and –
>> Moderator: They did specify. Was it wrong that you presented it?
>> Luigi Gambardella: No, I don’t have a way to distinguish, so I cannot comment it. I see that when you have legislative initiative, you will see how the market will develop and because I think it’s too early to know whether there’d be more or less invest, more choice, at the end, say, we are wrong to call the customer their friend. But I, talking to your point, I think you’re right, what you were saying at the beginning.
But I think, we should allow, we should serve our customer because we are Telecom operator and what we have is our customer. We can call them, as I said, our friend, but we have to serve them as much as we can. I think it is important to give the freedom to the customer to choose different things. It’s very important. When we speak about freedom, I think that freedom should be also the possibility to differentiate and to give an answer to the different needs of our customer. This is very important. We know the discussion that has been in the U.S. on net neutrality. Whether it was good or bad to regulate internet. How far you can go in the regulation of the internet.
>> Jean-Jacques Sahel: We know it’s inappropriate to cut Voice Over IP. We don’t need that in the law. I think it’s important to realise, net neutrality, if we define it, it’s not about regulating internet, it’s about regulating access to the internet. So, this is a market which is already regulated and in some areas, the Telecom network is very good. We, we have this problem on net neutrality, it’s quite systemic and needs to be addressed. As I mentioned before, it’s interesting in seeing what’s happening across EU countries is that actually the principles are pretty much the same. So when we talk about traffic management, we look at what the French have said, Norwegians, the Dutch, Canadians, Singaporeans, et cetera. It’s pretty much all the same. A lot of them have said first, first, before even considering traffic management, for congestion purposes, you might consider adding capacity. If you can do so, you should. Then, if you do manage traffic, it should be, indeed, for avoiding congest in, in certain times when it might happen. It’s too avoid security incidents, as you mentioned and it’s, you know, there might be some legal obligations as mentioned by Marieke. You find that in all the various principles. The danger is to try and go, the difficulty, if you want, if someone wanted to go beyond and be much more detailed. I think it’s important to give a frame to define at a certain high level what is appropriate traffic management, broadly along those three key areas and hopefully that’ll give you enough flexibility as a network operator. On the techie side to manage your network, in a good way, to get a good end user experience.
Just a quick point on VOIP, VOIP works very well on the best efforts delivery basis. I think we’re quite happy with that. That doesn’t mean that if a consumer wants to have, you know, managed voice, they can’t have it, the two can coexist and I think that’s actually mentioned in the detail of the Dutch law, specifically explains that you shouldn’t touch best efforts, open internet –
>> Don’t open the next topic –
>> We’ll get back to that –
>> Moderator: Two more comments. I want to get to Chris, he was nodding this way and then when Jean-Jacques was speaking about adding more capacity. Okay, that might not be that easy, of course, but – what do you think, Chris, of defining the appropriate management? Is it possible, Luigi said it’s hard to put it in law. Then we have it in a Dutch law, in a way, how would you see it?
>> It is quite easy to add capacity if you have a lot of money. You can’t, of course, always build a bigger street you know, another lane and more and more. I think the key points regarding network management, have the Dutch got it right or not? I don’t know, to be honest, but I think the key element needs to be what Marieke said before. They still offer innovation. I think this is a key point. When you do regulation and you will not allow for innovation anymore, also on the operator side, okay?
I think this is not good. You cannot tie in one part of this whole system, it’s a complex system, interlinked. You cannot tie in one part in a very strict regulation and leave all the others. Develop new services, innovative services, corporations and so on. You need to leave that innovation possibility to its providers.
>> Moderator: Stop it here. That’s the next part. Last comment here and we can move to that. Do we have remote comments? Please present yourself.
>> Diego: I’m here as an internet user. There’s a problem, big problem, which is Spam. And many, um, mail servers simply have blocking lists and, okay, that is not network neutral. So they filter by, um, source, IP sources and, um, domain sources. Domain name sources. So, that is not a performance problem, that’s not about congestion, that is not about, that is not about security, even. What is it about? It’s, the end result is annoying, is it –
>> Diego: It causes loss of money for the people that lose time deleting Spam.
>> Very quickly, it’s Spam. Either you see it as a consumer annoyance or it could be phishing in which case it’s criminal. In Europe legislation, that works with the legal requirements. Whether you see it as a security issue or lawful –
>> We can look at Dutch –
>> Diego: I understand, but the technical solution is that, uh, open relays getting the blocking list and they get blocked. And sometimes legitimate, uh, e-mails are blocked and discarded or whatever.
>> That can go also, on the level of filters and so on.
>> And how far the legislation goes to, to ensure that the message goes through and when is it legitimate to block it. And this is for e-mail which is specific application, but this can go for many others.
>> Marieke Pondman: Spam management is part of the limited list of things that the regulator can just, uh, attack. It’s a matter of the, of the NRA’s interpretation of what is exactly Spam and not, you get really into the details of the implementation of the law. As with every law, you always have to discuss the details. I’m, I’m sorry that I didn’t bring the regulator. He could probably give you a better answer than I do.
>> Thank you, Marieke. We’ll close this part here. I think we managed to collect quite a couple things that might help us define better, what appropriate management is. I’m sure Ana managed to pick up, Marieke, please do send the translation of your law to us to study. We might see that –
>> [Speaker off mic].
>> No, she’s ready, she has the translation also. But basically, I mean, this is one side of the coin, defining it in law. The second, the other side of the coin, as Marieke said is implementation. I’ll stop here and we move to the second million dollar question. The second million dollar question, but the third question in this debate. Another 20 minutes, this one will probably be hot.
>> Yeah, 15 minutes, you should control that. Well, quality of service. Many of you referred to that. It’s become important over the last 12 months, thanks to you, Luigi. I’m interested, the idea is very seducing. I just note from a technical point of view, I’m not sure the technology might support end-to-end quality of service on the global internet. I also know that so far, we haven’t needed equality of services. So, I keep this comment from myself, so far. What I would like to hear from you, and that is some major concern for many people, quality of services leads to a discussion, IP managed services. Services that are not internet, but that are IP-based. As far as they are shared on the very same line, access line, to the end users, how could they coexist? My question is, would the internet remain a service based on best effort or become something like least effort services because of the bandwidth that we’ll be eaten by all those beautiful innovative IP managed services? I hope my question is clear and I’d start with you, Jean-Jacques, please could you give us –
>> I will just change a bit the order.
>> Well, again, what’s good, a number of the proposals meant by regulators and legislations do touch on managed services. Still early, at the same time or early and not. If we think about IP TV. A lot of cable operators have been offering it for years and it works fine. They also provide open access to the internet in parallel. It’s absolutely okay. Depending on the underlying technology used, a certain type of pipe for instance, that is used. It’s easier or not. You could have two different streams in the same pipe, in which case you automatically divide open internet and managed service. You don’t really have a problem. It’s a bit more complex if you talk about mobile in particular. That’s still a market in development. What we’ve heard from some of the regulators, they don’t want the open internet to become a dirt road. Yes to manage services and operators should have complete freedom to offer managed services beside the open internet. Should be done in a way that affects the open internet. It doesn’t eat up all the bandwidth for investment networks. Just becomes a forgotten son. It’s difficult to word. It’s something we have to watch, but again, for now, there’s some decent, uh, sort of framing and what, what some of the regulators have done.
>> Moderator: Thank you. Yeah, I’d love to hear from business friends to see how they will manage that, actually.
>> Thank you, from our perspective, that is covered in our principle one, in the Norwegian principles. Specialized services and managed services can live alongside with regular internet service. It must be clearly specified. It must be defined, uh, how that connection is shared between those managed services and the regular internet. And then, they can coexist. And, and we also, as regulators, encourage, of course, this kind of, provide these kind of services because it is services that are beneficial for, of course, operators and consumers. So, so, so that must be possible for them to have, to coexist.
>> Moderator: How is it labelled in Norway? Do you allow your providers to call managers the internet? Is it something specific to label those services versus the global internet as we know it? Is there something specific in this approach?
>> No specifics, but it’s like IP TV for example, we have capable providers providing managed services in IP TV. They provide internet service with a defined capacity.
>> Moderator: Okay, I don’t know, Marieke or Luigi (?).
>> Marieke Pondman: The law in the Netherlands regulates best efforts of internet. What it means, if Telecom providers would like to offer more than what is best-effort internet, like further agreements, better quality of services, that is possible. I think even from a government perspective, I’d very much encourage it. I have the feeling that there is a whole new alternative business model to develop, like for instance, there’s, there’s been debates about for instance, um, specific commercial agreements with hospitals or educations or high schools, et cetera. So...I mean, you will gain more customers if you get into the Internet of Things, kind of business models. There’s so much more to develop. I’m just the government, I can only provide the space for innovation, the companies have to fill it in.
>> To add one more question to Luigi, especially because he has the microphone now, what do you see as managed services? This is something that, how does it look like. What is different than the internet. Maybe an example. Do you have an idea what is managed –
>> Yes, I have. Now, well, I think that here, Frederic, it’s important, um, to consider that all our customers are using the internet. I was saying before, the last thing an operator wants, when an operator wants to lose customer, because if you regulate the quality of best effort, there is a lot of competition, the customer will leave us and go to another operator. Today, we have a choice. So the last thing we want to do is lose customer. The regulators have a tool, we have to guaranty a minimum level of quality service. There’s a possibility to track and control the fact there’s a certain level of quality. What we were saying and what we were discussing is at the same time, we can have customer that would like to have better services with better quality. Different level of latency.
I make an example that, uh, there are YouTube-like services in the U.S. You can buy them on the net, through the internet. You pay $8. Internet today is best effort. You don’t have the guarantee that the service will work, you don’t have this, this kind of guarantee.
So, there are certain, there can be certain services that some providers would like to have a different level of quality and this level of latency and the customers are available to pay for the services.
But this doesn’t mean that we will, in order to do that, we will degrade the best effort service for other customers. It’s not our aim and will never be part of the discussion we have had. I can tell you, regarding the technical matter, we can organise, I’m available to bring you an expert. When you speak with the expert, I know that everything is possible. We can discuss technical details if you are interested. I’m ready, we’re ready to organise a separate event with you. We can go, we can have a much in-depth discussion on how it’s possible and you can make all the questions you need.
I think it’s very important and by the way, we had the chance to discuss with some internet player, some technical aspect and it’s been very useful for us and for them.
>> I believe so. You mentioned capacity of regulators to measure, it’s extremely complex. I’d be interested how they do that in different parts of Europe, actually, measuring latency, bandwidth and all technical levels. That’s the key question. That might be a bit more technical to discuss right now. On the same physical line, if you have IP-based services and internet, you have some change if you extend the value of your IP managed services. There is something that will suffer and that is a global – that was the end of my questions, but you certainly bring some interesting points. Anyone else? This gentleman and then Christopher.
>> You already mentioned the limitation of the first and second link. If we have quality of service access, this is, uh, I ask if it’s not easier to, to claim the bandwidth on the link between, it’s available for unrestricted internet. Only allowed bandwidth to go out to the customers and say, here you have 13 megabit account. 25 megabit line. You only can buy a 13 megabit line. Limited bandwidth by managed services became transparent to the user and it can compare, much better compare the different offers from the companies. We can choose 25 megabits internet or 13 megabit internet and additional services.
>> Moderator: Christopher?
>> Christopher: I’d like to add one point. Managed services, you asked what you mean with managed services. Currently when we speak about it, we mean some form of content networks. The current problem we have on the internet, we have rapid growth of the amount of data on the internet. Maybe it’s not posting so much or using so much VOIP services, but they’re using the internet as entertainment medium. Internet will become tomorrow’s television, okay?
>> Not okay, but –
>> Christopher: This is what’s happening. This is what people want. They want entertainment on the internet. The growth, I’m not talking about entertainment you’re thinking about. I think it’s really related to, um, to some form of video content. 25% of the internet traffic is Netflix. 1/3 of the internet traffic in the United States of America, it’ll be very similar in Europe, at least in the states where Netflix is available. All I’m saying is that what you do with net and managed services is to try to single out this video content and try to find new ways of transporting that. Of course, the intention is not to somehow you know, treat the best effort internet as your stepchild or something like that. In the end, we make a lot more money with best effort internet access than we do with any form of managed services in the near future. So again, think about interests. It’s not in the interest of Telco operator in Europe, to offer some form of really, worst effort, uh, best effort internet or something like that, you know? Not at all. I don’t see that.
But it’s a solution, managed services, a solution to deal with this traffic growth. And you have to, you have to wake up to that. There’s an amazing demand for these services and they’re coming. So, I don’t see a problem why you cannot find until ways to manage that.
>> Moderator: Thank you, Christopher. We have Pedro.
>> Pedro Veigo: I’m concerned with the quality of service of the best effort internet. Because, the quality of service sometimes is so low, so low, and the customer, indeed, has no choice. For example, I know some cases of people that contracted an operator. The quality of the services is so low, but when you want to change operator, in the contract, he has a small letter, small letters that say that the contract is, you are committed to contract for two years. So you can change, you can change from two years from now. And also, the quality of service varies a lot during the day, because the contracts mentioned, the contention rates that exist in the quality of service you get, sometimes is very poor. People, for example, they want to use Skype, but some hours of the day that’s just impossible because the, the resources are located to the network are not enough for a best effort of reasonable quality.
>> You’re from Microsoft?
>> I’m from ISOC Portugal.
>> ISOC, okay. How much do you pay for internet? Telephony and TV in Portugal? Your bill is very high or very low?
>> I have the rights here, I’m a special person, I don’t have a TV at all, but having now, the services of having TV with 90 channels, what they call, internet access, that’s not very transparent. A lot of megabits, downstream they don’t mention how much is upstream. So consumer choice sometimes is not based on clear information. And also, SIM card for cell phone.
>> Yeah, Christopher Wilkinson, I didn’t intend to say anything – Internet Society Chapter, previously EU member of the GAC. I didn’t intend to ask a question or make a comment, but it so happens that, um, I’m living almost exactly on the opposite side of the peninsula. At the same latitude. And our experience is exactly what Pedro has just described. When the weather’s hot and the tourists arrive internet service collapses. We pay 40 euros a month, not including television.
>> Tourists in Brussels?
>> In Spain.
>> Javier as David would say (?).
>> Moderator: We’ll go to Giacomo, please?
>> Giacomo Mazzone: The next point, we have to treat, the services are becoming, in access to content, it’s becoming one of the main problems for the network and in net content, I remember that in Europe, we have a particularity, the fact that we have public service, um, delivery to the house. So the day this delivery will mainly be done through the internet, then there is a special problem that we need to tackle. How to be sure that this content is produced with public money, will be delivered in a way that will not be affected by the management of the network or the quality of services principle in a fair way to the consumers to the citizen. This is a specific issue that I think is even more important than, uh, access to the Voice Over Internet because it touched other principles that are not only access to the market of certain services or application.
>> We’re in a situation where we’re just five minutes ahead of the end of this conversation. We might need to close this part. I got another five minutes, what do you think?
>> I guess, it, it would be fine, since we were late a bit, ten minutes or something, that we extend for ten more minutes, which means we have fifteen minutes, which is okay.
>> Okay, I’ll officially close this part and I understand that we should not worry that much, but I’m really interested to know more and hear more about Luigi’s experts in this matter. So thank you. With pleasure, Luigi.
>> [Speaker off mic]. ...it’s important to track what we’re speaking about –
>> I agree.
>> We’re ready to organise it, I hope you’ll join us.
>> With that in mind, I’m going to formally close this one –
>> We take this commitment, we do it together.
>> It’ll be written down. Ana already wrote it down.
>> It’s also on the web.
>> It’s in the transcript and it says that ETNO will support organising something like that.
>> We’ll do that.
>> It’s important we touch on specialized services. We can’t elaborate on that now, but it leads us to the final question and back to the discussion, the beginning of the discussion, if we know that the environment is so dynamic, currently, that we might expect something that we still don’t know what it’s going to be. Which are the specialized services, whatever we call them. That, uh, we might need to think ahead what’s going to happen, not only how this is going to impact the current internet, that we use, technically, in a bandwidth way, but also economically, what’s going to happen to know whether the new services are going to flourish and the internet will die out because of the commercial interest or whatever. To be flexible enough to follow this dynamic, uh, changes in internet. Now I’m back to the two regulators, um, Ornulf, maybe you firstly. A quality of service about anything. Now having in mind, the dynamic environment and having in mind that you can, or can you, without any regulation, but you really need it. If you need it, European one be enough? Or you really think that the national one should be in place and how to manage this dynamic changes on the internet.
>> Well, thank you, it’s several questions, but I’ll try to answer some of them. From our perspective, using the co-regulation approach in Norway, and which has proven to work, that’s the ISPs, do not discriminate the traffic. Then, we feel that, that approach with the co-regulation where we were leading the discussion and establishing the principles in discussion with the ISPs, the content providers, consumer authorities, that approach is very dynamic and adaptive and can be very quickly changed or altered.
[Captioner has a hard stop at scheduled end time, apologies].