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Net Neu­tral­i­ty

The Bundesnetzagentur has published its fourth report on the enforcement of the provisions on net neutrality in Germany. The Annual Report 2019/2020 covers the period from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020.

Net Neutrality in Germany Annual Report 2019/2020 (pdf / 3 MB)

The provisions on net neutrality are set out in Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 on open internet access. This Regulation aims to establish common rules to safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet access services and related end-user rights. It aims to protect end-users and simultaneously to guarantee the continued functioning of the internet ecosystem as an engine of innovation.

The Annual Report 2019/2020 focuses on the following issues: safeguarding open internet access, transparency measures, supervision and enforcement as well as penalties. It covers major activities of the Bundesnetzagentur related to the following issues:

  • the investigation of business models and commercial practices (Article 3(2) in conjunction with Article 3(1)), including zero-rating offers;
  • the review of traffic management measures by internet access service providers (Article 3(3)), specifically on the topic of filters for security and youth protection;
  • investigation of transparency measures (Article 4(1)), including handling of consumer complaints relating to low data transmission rates (Article 4(1) sentence 1 point (d) in conjunction with Article 4(4));
  • the operation of a quality monitoring mechanism (section 43a(3) TKG, Article 4(4) and Article 5(1)).

Previous Annual Reports:

Net Neutrality in Germany Annual Report 2018/2019 (pdf / 797 KB)

Net Neutrality in Germany Annual Report 2017/2018 (pdf / 685 KB)

Net Neutrality in Germany Annual Report 2016/2017 (pdf / 659 KB)

BEREC publishes Guidelines on Net Neutrality

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has published Net Neutrality Guidelines on 30 August 2016. Prior to this, BEREC conducted a public consultation for 6 weeks (closed 18 July 2016, 14:00 CET).

Regulation 2015/2120 which entered into force in November 2015 serves as the basis to safeguard net neutrality. According to the Regulation the national regulatory authorites have to monitor compliance of the provisions and to promote continued availability of non-discriminatory internet access servcies. The Regulations obliges BEREC to issue guidelines on net neutrality.

The BEREC Guidelines substantiate the provisions of the Regulation, in order to contribute to a consistent application in practice. Major issues are zero-rating, traffic management provisions, requirements for the provision of specialised services as well as increased transparency provisions for the providers of internet access services.

Comprehensive information can be found here: http://www.berec.europa.eu/eng/netneutrality/

Key aspects of the Guidelines are explained in a fact sheet.

fact sheet (pdf / 340 KB)

Date of modification: 2019.07.22