Ovum comments: The Open Internet Code of Practice & BT's results
- Matthew Howett, lead analyst, regulatory telecoms, Ovum
- The Open Internet Code of Practice
"The code announced today mostly appears to build on Ofcom's pragmatic approach to net neutrality passed back in November 2011. Crucially the code recognises the importance of managed services and provides a fair degree of flexibility to allow these to develop. It's generally recognised by both sides (ISPs and over the top players) that it's necessary to build and maintain a sustainable Internet model. It remains an area of constant evolution and its reassuring that self-regulatory measures such as these are being explored rather than a heavy-handed and possibly premature intervention from the regulator.
"The issue of how 'full internet access' is marketed is less clear at this stage. With no commonly used term to describe Internet access with restrictions (which is a fairly common practice) some more clarity form the BSG would be useful. Ultimately it will be to consumers to choose the type of package that meets their particular needs and healthy competition between providers is likely to ensure that a range of such packages continue to exist.
"For competition to work, consumers should know what they can and can't access when they take out an Internet package and this information should be communicated to them in a clear and easy to understand way. Promisingly this is something that the majority of fixed and mobile operators, including those who have not signed up to the additional elements, have already committed to."
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