‘Tele2 violates net neutrality with terms and conditions of subscriptions
Tele2 violates European legislation in the area of net neutrality with the terms and conditions of its mobile subscriptions. That say different internetjuristen against NU.nl.
In the Fair Use Policy (pdf) which is applicable to all mobile subscriptions from Tele2 is, among others, a ban on ‘tethering’, the use of a smartphone as a wi-fi hotspot for other devices like laptops. Also prohibits Tele2 “use in combination with at [sic] another device that is not by Tele2 as suitable is found”.
That should not, says legal adviser Matthijs van Bergen of ICTRecht. The terms and conditions, according to him, “a clear infringement on the netneutraliteitsverordening” at the end of 2015 was approved by the European Parliament.
In that regulation, is regulated providers to all types of internet traffic should be treated, and that consumers themselves should be allowed to choose what device they’re using.
The Authority Consumer & Market (ACM), the regulator responsible for the compliance of the net neutrality in the Netherlands should maintain, provided there earlier for that T-Mobile is a similar limitation on tethering from his conditions removed. With the introduction of a subscription with unlimited internet access, to T-Mobile the use of tethering to a maximum of 20 GB per month limit, but that was not from the supervisor.
In the new terms (pdf) of T-Mobile is not limited to what equipment customers can use. The terms and conditions of the provider prohibit only the sharing or reselling of subscriptions.
The ACM did not want in detail respond to the Fair Use Policy of Tele2. According to spokesperson Pauline Grass will soon be an investigation into the conditions of all the major carriers started, which later results will be disclosed.
It refers to a warning to providers that the ACM last year, shortly after T-Mobile was forced to make changes to his subscription. “ACM see at this moment offers that are in conflict with the new European netneutraliteitsregels”, wrote the guardian when.
What is net neutrality?
Tele2 introduced earlier this month a subscription with unlimited internet, calls and sms, in a heated battle with T-Mobile. The two providers to try both clients fishing with unlimited databundels for low prices.
But the tethering ban is not new. The state since november 2015 in the terms and conditions of Tele2, as appears from an archived version of the Fair Use Policy (pdf). In that month started to Tele2 for the first time with the offer of subscriptions to the internet through it’s own 4G network.
In a reaction, says spokesperson Robin Janszen of Tele2 that the conditions exist “to prevent abuse of the tethering function to avoid, so we the quality of the network could not guarantee”.
He says that Tele2 only unreasonable tethering-use want to avoid: “consider, for example, in the train your phone as a hotspot during the trip, briefly for your laptop, what is reasonable, versus the whole train compartment to connect to your phone.”
Janszen says that the provider cannot exclude the possibility that customers in the past have been warned or shut down after a violation of the tethering ban. “If that is so, is that an incident has been.” According to the spokesman, is abuse “to date, no issue”.
The distinction between reasonable and unreasonable tethering-use where Janszen is talking about, is in the terms and conditions of the provider is not created. “But actually, the distinction is not relevant, because end-users understand the freedom to have equipment of their choice to use”, says Van Bergen.
The argument that a restriction is necessary to the quality of the network to guarantee is also not on, says IT lawyer Nick Vrugt of Lawfox. According to him, may only be restricted if there is actually the existence of quality problems, not as a preventive measure.
There is no question of “impending network congestion”, such as according to the European rules, however, should be the case, ” he says. Furthermore, all types of internet traffic, so even tethering, must be treated equally if some restrictions have to be imposed.
Of Mountains of ICTRecht is also putting in question a ban on “continuous or nearly continuous use” in the terms and conditions of Tele2.
“You might think that in general it is somewhat misleading to something like ‘unlimited’ to sell and then in the conditions, all kinds of restrictions. And consumers are mislead may on the basis of European and Dutch law and regulations.”