Regulatory assessment of Telenor Yng «Music Freedom»
Net neutrality is the principle that traffic on the internet should be treated equally, providing the end users with the opportunity to use their internet connection to access and distribute content of their choice. The goal with net neutrality is to protect the value of the Internet for end-users, for the industry, and for the overall democratic society.
Under the European net neutrality rules, technical discrimination of traffic is prohibited, with some specific exceptions such as security measures. Regarding commercial practices, such as zero-rating, the rules provide the regulators with powers to intervene against commercial practices, based on a comprehensive assessment covering several criteria.
Based on an overall assessment of Telenor’s zero-rating offer “Music Freedom”, Nkom hasn’t found it proportionate to intervene at this point in time. Considering that Telenor has expressed an intention to open the offer, whereby additional content providers can be included, Nkom wants to give Telenor an opportunity to implement this in practice.
Nkom therefore expects that Telenor as soon as possible arranges for and actively informs that additional content providers easily can be included in the zero-rating offer. Such facilitation should clearly describe how content providers and consumers can address Telenor and ask for such inclusion, typically via dedicated web pages for registration.
It is also important that when Telenor has established such a registration procedure for inclusion in the zero-rating offer, requested inclusions swiftly become effective. At the same time, it is essential that traffic from the applications of the category is identified correctly, whereby discrimination of content providers is avoided.
If zero-rating in the Norwegian market does not function as described above, in particular if such commercial practices become widespread, then Nkom will reassess the analysis of zero-rating in the market.