Good access to open internet in Sweden

6/20/2018

Today, end users have good access to an open internet. This is the finding of a new report by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS). The authority will continue to monitor the area.

A general rule in the EU regulation is that providers of internet access services shall treat all traffic equally. This means, among other things, that end-users have the right to use applications, services and terminal equipment of their choice.

PTS shall closely monitor and ensure that the provisions of an open internet, also known as net neutrality, are complied with. PTS is also required to report annually its monitoring activities concerning an open internet to, among others, the European Commission.

Systematic monitoring and market analysis

Net neutrality has been a prioritized area for PTS supervision in both 2017 and 2018. PTS has systematically worked with monitoring the market and supervision, for instance by during 2017 examining a number of internet service providers' traffic management measures and the provision of services optimised for specific content, applications or services. PTS gathered information through an information request to a selection of internet service providers, which account for the largest part of fixed and mobile communication services.

In the examination, PTS did not find anything to suggest that the rules on traffic management are not complied with.

"In general, Swedish end-users have good opportunities to choose their internet service provider. This positively affects the end-user's access to an open internet," says Emma Närvä, PTS Electronic Communication Services section

PTS reviews business models

In autumn 2017, PTS conducted a review of mobile operators' contractual terms to examine if end-users' rights to an open internet were limited through contractual terms. The review resulted in PTS initiating supervision of Telenor's contractual terms at the start of 2018, which led to the operator making adjustments, while in an adjoining supervision of Tre, PTS determined that that the operator's contractual conditions were not in breach of the regulation.

In 2017, PTS stated that it is unlawful traffic management to grant end-users continued access to certain selected services, while blocking other data usage, when the contracted data volume have been consumed. To further clarify how commercial conditions may be designed to be in line with the regulation, PTS initiated a review of Telia's offer of free surf on social media during the reporting period. The objective of this review is to create a better understanding of how the offer affects the end-user's choice and use of certain internet services and if the offer is in line with the regulation. This matter has not yet been concluded.

"We see a greater variety of mobile internet access offers than fixed. The mobile internet access providers test many different types of business models and our role is to continue to monitor and review them, to ensure compliance with the open internet regulation" says Emma Närvä, PTS Electronic Communication Services Section.

Click here to read the report

For more information
Emma Närvä, PTS Electronic Communication Services Section, +46 73-644 57 63
PTS Press Office, +46 8-678 55 55

About open internet and net neutrality

An open internet means that end-users has the right to access information and content, use and provide applications and services, and use terminal equipment of their choice when accessing internet. This irrespective of where the end-user is located and regardless of where the information comes from or where it is distributed. An open internet is, among other things, important for free speech, free choice and innovation.

The concept of net neutrality is often used in discussions of an open internet. This concept is based on the principle that providers of internet access services shall treat all internet traffic equally.