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No blocking or degrading

Principle 6: No blocking or degrading

There should be no blockage of traffic, content or services, and no negative differentiation should take place, with the exception of measures taken in response to legal requirements or for reasons of network security and integrity (within the meaning of TKG 2003, Art 16a). Such measures are justified only if they are kept within reasonable bounds, are necessary to achieve the purposes stated and, if taken, are appropriately communicated to end users.

Blocking or degrading (lower quality) reduces either the end user’s freedom of choice or the quality of use of specific services, which in turn means a potential long-term reduction in the choice of services. Legitimate purposes such as avoiding overload can normally be achieved without differentiating between services.

Measures to safeguard network security and integrity are, in general, in the interests of all. However, they should be taken by ISPs only within reasonable bounds and if necessary to achieve the purposes stated. In line with Principle 3, such measures should be transparent.