CANCELED: Lucas Lasota, Ph.D.: Will there be a Router Freedom in Europe?

Routers are equipment our devices use to connect to the Internet. Through them are transferred the whole internet traffic, encryption, backups, communication, business and private interaction. Router Freedom is the right every one has to choose and use trusted and secure routers. Although protected in Europe by the Net Neutrality Regulation (Regulation EU 2015/2120), Router Freedom has been confronted by several challenges, ranging from business interests, legal hurdles and political pressure.

The implementation of Router Freedom rules in Europe has followed diverse paths among countries, which created a fragmented regulatory patchwork rug. This panorama is characterized by enhanced complexity of the control and enforcement by National Regulatory Agencies and Consumer Protection Organisations. The fragmentation of control and enforcement by public authorities derived from antagonistic interests from business entities and consumers. While consumers seek freedom of choice, privacy and data protection, security and competition, large corporate groups develop business models which have the monetization criteria around routers, ranging from data commercialization to gradual privileges regarding connection speed and internet access points. The viability of such models requires routers to stay out of consumers' domain and to be part of the Internet Service Providers' infrastructure.

Under lobby pressure, the European framework has delegated to National Regulatory Agencies the definition of the Network Termination Point, a discretionary criteria to determine if the routers should belong to users' or ISPs' domain. In each jurisdiction the choice should be oriented by BEREC guidelines on the subject, which will enter in force next June, 2020. 

The talk of Lucas Lasota aims to raise awareness for Router Freedom and to understand the impact of future developments over civil society.

 

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