RTR has published its third annual net neutrality report in accordance with Article 5 (1) of the TSM Regulation and para. 182-183 of the BEREC Guidelines on the implementation of the TSM Regulation.
The report, which is to be published by 30 June 2019, provides information on the state of the internet's openness in Austria in the period from 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019 and on whether or which measures had to be taken by RTR/TKK to ensure the openness of the internet in Austria. This year, we focused on monitoring activities and the investigation of possible violations of net neutrality. We further discussed legal proceedings based on the blocking of websites due to injunctive reliefs because of copyright infringements. As in the previous years, the current report provides information on official activities related to net neutrality, answering the questions of ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘when’.
A novelty of this report is the emphasis on one particular topic in order to give more in-depth insights into relevant aspects and considerations as well as international developments. This year’s topic is zero-rating.
The overall picture of the internet’s openness in Austria continues to be quite positive: In cases where violations of net neutrality rules occurred, the companies concerned found, in most cases, constructive solutions and implemented these (or announced their implementation) upon consultation with the authority. A considerable number of proceedings could be terminated after operators provided comprehensible reasoning. Regrettably, two key decisions by RTR from 2017 regarding specialised services and technical discrimination are still pending in court.
Aside from networks, other factors may also influence the openness of the internet. For this reason, RTR conducted a study on possible limitations of the openness of the internet resulting from operating systems, app stores and applications for both consumers (demand side) and app developers (supply side).