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EU regulator reminds telcos to not breach Net Neutrality during COVID-19 pandemic

The Body of the European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) and European Commission reminded telcos not to undermine Net Neutrality by throttling "equivalent classes of traffic" on the internet. This comes as more and more people work from home and students take classes via video calls the EU due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "The European Commission and BEREC, with the support of national regulatory authorities (NRAs) or competent authorities, are setting up a special reporting mechanism to ensure regular monitoring of the Internet traffic situation in each Member State to be able to respond swiftly to capacity issues," BEREC and the Commission said in their joint statement. Congestion shouldn't lead to discrimination "Reasonable Traffic Management" as defined in the EU law, does not clearly emphasise that traffic management in times of congestion should be as application-agnostic as possible. "That is a problem," Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick had told BEREC in a filing in 2016. In its statement, BEREC seemed to warn ISPs that they should not rely on this ambiguity. "Pursuant to the Regulation, operators are authorised to apply exceptional traffic management measures, inter alia, to prevent impending network congestion and to mitigate the effects of exceptional or temporary network congestion, always under the condition that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally [all emphases original]," they said. "The increase in Internet traffic has not led to a general network congestion so far," statement said, but it reminded telcos that EU's Net Neutrality regulation "prohibits operators from blocking,…

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