Open Internet

The Open Internet Working Group (OI WG) contributes to the functioning of the Internet Ecosystem as an engine of innovation and thus to ensuring a level playing field for content and application providers. In this framework, the OI WG has played a crucial role in the consistent application of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 laying down measures concerning open internet access - the 'Open Internet Regulation'. It has developed and updated the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) Guidelines on the implementation of the Open Internet Regulation - the 'BEREC Open Internet Guidelines' - which provide guidance on the implementation of the Open Internet Regulation. The OI WG also helps National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) share knowledge on the harmonised application of the Open Internet rules. Another important aspect is the exchange of experience and best practices related to national measurement tools. Overall, the efforts of the OI WG aim to empower end-users, so that European citizens are free to access and distribute information and content, use and provide applications and services of their choice.

Working Group Co-chairs

The image shows Veronique Ney, Co-chair of the BEREC Open Internet Working Group
The image shows the Co-chair of the Open Internet Working Group, Christoph Mertens

Véronique Ney

ILR, Luxembourg

Christoph Mertens

BNetzA, Germany

(Note: This video was recorded in 2022. It may include one or more former Co-chairs).

Work in 2024

In 2024, the OI WG will continue working on related topics, based on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) Work Programme 2024.

Implementation of the Open Internet Regulation and the BEREC Open Internet Guidelines

In the 2024 work stream, BEREC will monitor the implementation of the OI provisions among NRAs for the period 1 May 2023 to 30 April 2024. BEREC will collect the annual national OI Reports and the answers to an internal questionnaire to prepare the annual European-level OI Report.

Furthermore, BEREC will, within this work stream, hold an internal workshop on the use of Domain Name System-blocking pursuant to Article 3(3)(b) of the OI Regulation. The workshop will serve as an opportunity for the exchange of information between NRAs.

Collaboration on Internet Access Service measurement tools

Through this work stream, BEREC intends to continue the ongoing work with NRAs on their national measurement tool deployment so as to:

  • provide a forum for NRAs to share information and exchange experiences and best practices related to the development and deployment of national measurement tools, by taking into account the support of new technologies; this work stream will also identify best collaboration practices so as to maximise the benefits of existing NRA cooperation in this area; and
  • support the migration of interested NRAs towards a harmonised measurement tool by working together to improve the measurements and by sharing codes or components.

BEREC Report on the IP interconnection ecosystem (carry-over)

After more than five years, BEREC sees a need to assess the current state of the market and to re-evaluate its earlier findings. In this report, BEREC will assess the current trends and the developments in the market since 2017, such as the relationships between different parties, utilisation of paid peering and Content Delivery Networks. If necessary, the work stream may also include questionnaires, surveys, workshops, and so on, to collect further information relevant to this analysis.

Why is this important?

Net neutrality and Open Internet continue to be a crucial area of work for BEREC, and discussions are ongoing. Under the European Union (EU) rules, internet service providers are prohibited from blocking or slowing down internet traffic, except where necessary. The provisions of the Open Internet Regulation enshrine in EU law an end user’s right to be free ‘to access and distribute information and content, use and provide applications and services of their choice’. Moreover, specific provisions ensure that NRAs can enforce this right.