Publication of review of the UK’s Open Internet Codes
Today, the BSG published an independent review into the UK’s industry led approach to the Open Internet. The report, produced by consultancy WIK, found that the UK Open Internet and Traffic Management Codes of Practice have been effective when measured against the principles of an Open Internet. WIK also found that the Codes could continue to add value “over and above the requirements laid out in the Regulation???.
This review was commissioned both as a form of good practice and to ensure that the UK’s approach could continue to remain compliant under the new EU Connected Continent Regulation (10788/15) which will be officially published in the autumn this year.
WIK analysed each objective of the Open Internet individually – these are that all users should be able to access all legal content, that there should be no discrimination against content providers on the basis of commercial rivalry; and traffic management policies should be clear and transparent. In addition, WIK also conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders from across industry. WIK’s findings are also supported by evidence of the success of Over-The-Top (OTT) players in the UK – with consumers able to access more than 60 online music services and all major video players. This is the broadest range of choice across OECD countries.
Matthew Evans, CEO of the BSG, said: “Today’s report demonstrates that the UK’s self-regulatory approach has provided certainty to both content and network providers whilst allowing them each the flexibility to innovate. This has been beneficial for both groups and the UK consumer without the need for overly prescriptive regulation or costly court cases. We believe that our approach can be compliant with and add value to the EU Regulation. That is why the Code signatories have committed to making revisions to the Code by the middle of 2016???.
The BSG will be working with signatories to the Code, and the Open Internet Forum to enact the recommendations contained within the report by the middle of next year.