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European operators throttling P2P, VoIP traffic

13 марта 2012

 European operators are regularly using traffic management techniques that throttle or block access to certain online services, claimed the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) on Monday.

The industry body, comprised of representatives from the EU's 27 national telco regulators, published preliminary findings from a report it submitted to the European Commission earlier this month that collected data from a 400-strong sample group of fixed and mobile operators, consumer organisations, industry associations and a number of private individuals. The full report is due to be released this quarter.

"The most frequently reported traffic management practices are the blocking and/or throttling of peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, on both fixed and mobile networks, and the blocking of voice over IP (VoIP) traffic (mostly on mobile networks, usually based on specific contract terms)," said BEREC, in a statement. "When blocking/throttling is implemented in the network, it is typically done through deep packet inspection (DPI)."

Some operators said they seek to ease network congestion by employing application-agnostic techniques, while others admitted to using application-specific techniques that target certain types of traffic.

"The picture emerging shows a very diverse range of commercial and/or technical practices being used by European operators in the different national markets," said BEREC.

Internet freedom advocacy group La Quadrature du Net described claimed the techniques are restrictive and intrusive.

"These preliminary findings prove that EU operators impose unjustifiable restrictions to Internet access on both fixed and mobile networks, such as blocking and throttling of P2P or VoIP services," said La Quadrature spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann, in a statement.

"Such widespread practices clearly show that EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes' laissez-faire approach on Net neutrality allows operators to violate their users' freedom of communication and privacy," he continued, reiterating his call for her to "propose an EU-wide law on net neutrality, so as to ensure that freedoms online, but also innovation and competition in the digital economy, are protected."

Источник: Total Telecom

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