Ofcom has said it’s looking to revise guidance on net neutrality to give broadband and mobile providers more power, the changes could see zero-rating packages introduced, traffic management used at peak times, and the launch of “premium quality” retail broadband and mobile packages. Net neutrality is the principle that users can access any websites they want without special exceptions, but these proposed changes could threaten that.
Commenting on the proposals, Ofcom’s Director of Connectivity, Selina Chadha, said:
“The net neutrality rules constrain the activities of broadband providers, and could be restricting their ability to develop new services and manage their networks. We want to make sure they can also innovate, alongside those developing new content and services, and protect their networks when traffic levels might push them to their limits. We believe consumers will benefit from this.”
One of the interesting notes about the proposals is that they could allow providers to start charging content providers for carrying traffic. It said it has not seen sufficient evidence that this change is actually needed, but has set out its views on the matter anyway. Vodafone CEO Nick Read has been complaining this year about big tech benefiting from infrastructure but not contributing to the cost of upgrades, and has since entered Vodafone into merger talks with Three UK.
Ofcom’s proposals are now in the consultation phase, if you’d like to comment on what is being planned, check out Ofcom’s dedicated webpage where it has a consultation response form available for you to fill in. The e-mail address that you need to send the form to is inside the form, and cited documents in the form are available to download on the dedicated webpage.