UK network neutrality policy is influenced both by its regulator, Ofcom, and its particular and unique network topology. In contrast to that historical commitment to an Open Internet, the UK pursued a Traffic Management Practices (TMP) Transparency Code 2011 and an Open Internet Code of Practice 2012. The chapter describes the slow progress towards a Code of Practice for greater transparency under the auspices of the government-industry partnership, Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG). Internet Access Providers (IAPs) had been persuaded by Ofcom to sign a code of conduct on advertising broadband speed and congestion in 2008, though this was inadequate and was then replaced by the BSG Code from 2011-2013. The chapter includes in Ofcom's functions the 'desirability of promoting': purposes of public service television broadcasting; competition in relevant markets; and facilitating the development and use of effective forms of self-regulation.
This book explains the beginnings of net neutrality regulation in the United States and Europe, and some of the current debate over access to Specialised Services: fast lanes with higher Quality of Service (QoS). It examines the new European law of 2015 and the interaction between that law and interception/privacy. The book takes a deep dive into UK self- and co-regulation of net neutrality. In each of the national case studies, initial confusion at lack of clarity in net neutrality laws gave way to significant cases, particularly since 2014, which have given regulators the opportunity to clarify their legislation or regulation. The majority of such cases relate to mobile net neutrality, and in particular so-called 'zero rating' practices. The book compares results and proposes a regulatory toolkit for those jurisdictions that intend effective practical partial or complete implementation of net neutrality. It sets out a future research agenda for exploring implementation of regulation. The book outlines competition policy's purpose, referring to the exceptionally rigorous recent analysis of competition law suitability to regulate net neutrality by Maniadaki. Having analysed regulatory tools with little chance of success, it then examines what communications regulators actually do: regulating telecoms access based on the UK case study. The book considers whether zero rating poses a serious challenge to Open Internet use. It explores some of the wider international problems of regulating the newest manifestation of discrimination: zero rating. The book also considers the various means by which government can regulate net neutrality.