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back to article GSMA: EU net neutrality reforms are the enemy of business

Proposed reforms designed to ensure net neutrality across the European Union will hinder innovation to the detriment of businesses and consumers, according to a leading global mobile operators' association. The GSMA, which represents almost 800 mobile operators worldwide, said that EU proposals to prevent internet service …

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Mushroom

Not being able to make things worse hinders innovation and stifles business.

Then I think we all know what you can do with your business plans.

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As a 'lady' famously said...

"He would say that, wouldn't he?"

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Re: As a 'lady' famously said...

It must be the easiest and cheapest way of deciding if a new rule is good

Does an industry cartel immediately oppose it?

It's like automatically being in favour of anything the Daily Mail opposes.

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News alert...

Foxes say hen-house doors and locks restrict hens' movement and are against the hens' interests.

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Well? Bears in Woods etc

They'd argue nearly anything imposed on them is bad. Mobile only likes voice and SMS. Comparing the costs for £15 Voice and £15 Data sale, the Data costs them 130x more at least. Overpriced voice and SMS is subsidising Data. Also it's MOBILE. They are are in many cases offering caps to high and mis-selling as Broadband. It's for ON THE GO usage.

They need to realise that people just want to rent a connection. They need to stop blocking & throttling stuff and have more honest marketing. Mobile has limited capacity.

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net neutrality.

I had explained to me Why this is a bad thing. I have heard a whole bunch of weak excuses from various trade bodies, which mostly boil down to "We cant screw over netflix". They say this will allow them to reduce prices, but prices for Broadband in the EU is relatively good anyway, and i cant see a price drop of a couple of euros being anything like worth the downside for consumers.

(That's the benefit of having competition in our markets, US take note)

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Meh

Heh

GSM was a standard initially mandated by several European bodies and governments. But now we can't have any interference, oh no.

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I can't help but read this as 'We want our walled garden so we can lock cows customers in and milk service their needs.'

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Alert

oh bull

"[H]inder innovation to the detriment of businesses and consumers", fooey, more like hinder existing business's chances to shaft consumers and innovators.

Why are texts within the EU cheaper now, because of the great telecom businesses? No, because of regulation.

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Yea, i've not heard quite so much bullshit in a while! I mean ultimately how is restricting certain services going to benefit the consumer? There are literally no reasons why it would. If they are going to say charging certain providers will mean a lower price, well, that doesn't always mean its a benefit. I would rather pay a higher price and know that all the data is treated equally, have they ever thought consumers might want that instead? But no of course not, because its easier to fix prices between each other for charges to a large company than it is to convince millions of consumers to pay more. I really don't see how they can think it won't stifle innovation, if I came up with a good idea tomorrow and made a website for it but it used a fair bit of bandwidth, I wouldn't be able to afford an ISP's crazy fees for this bandwidth, so my idea would be stifled by being slowed down providing a crappy experience to their paying customers and my paying customers.

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Actually they're perfectly right.

If you don't allow ISP's to throttle certain *cough*netflix*cough* services they there is no way to entice customers to use anybody's VPN service to bypass their throttling.

Seriously if you get the connection you pay for why would you want to pay another party so you can actually use it?

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Re: Actually they're perfectly right.

I thought that they wanted to block/throttle Netflix to death, and hence make their over-priced and piss-poor alternative the only choice?

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Do they think we live in 1700? cause that's the only rational explanation for the assumption that we still don't know what Netflix has to do in the US to provide acceptable service to their customers...

protip: start selling packages based on actual limits, not inflated ones and you'll get even more money from people that want actually unlimited unlimited plan and you'll still get loads of money from punters that can't tell the difference between bit an byte

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Utter bullshit

The Internet used to be net-neutral and that saw an explosion of innovation. Innovation is most rapid in the boiling turmoil of equal access. If you're not the best, you're last. End of discussion.

This is brilliant for consumers but pretty shit for the companies who get it wrong. So they want walled gardens that mean when they fail, the customer is fucked. Or they want barriers to entry so when someone else has a better way the customer can't get it and is, err, fucked once again.

Customers*NEED* neutrality.

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Just an attempted shakedown

"Pay us for our premium protected service, or something nasty might happen to your data."

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Back to the (walled) garden...

If you replace the word "innovation" with "profit" then it's would be right. It would be nice if the EU went further and required operators - wired ISPs too - to deliver something defined as "Internet" and perhaps also defining "unlimited" more clearly would be a great job for a regulator. Too many mobile operators block unapproved (read: non-partnered) IM and VOIP services simply 'cause they want the money themselves.

If they want to limit their service they should not be allowed to sell "unlimited" and "Internet".

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Best of Luck to the EU

"In my opinion, this reform tends to challenge the role of ISPs at a broader scale,"

I hope so. If ISP's want to be in other businesses (other than plumbing,) those offerings should have to compete with those of non-ISP's on a level pitch. Right? Those businesses should be -totally- separated from the plumbing business. There should be NO avenue (or interest) for ISP's to favor their own offerings over others. Period.

Complete, transparent, closely regulated Net Neutrality is the only solution. The plumbing business is too important, too vital, to be allowed to be tinkered with in the name of "innovation."

ISP's wish to Cap and Meter, Throttle and Block, and erect Toll Booths for competitors. "Innovation" is totally absent from their "business model." Except in billing systems. BTW, it's exactly what I would do if I ran an ISP. It's just plain common sense--that MUST be legislated against.

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"according to a leading global mobile operators' association"

Mafia objects to policing.

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Anonymous Coward

Same old

The mobile firms made similar arguments re having their revenue stream from exorbitant roaming calls and texts in Europe choked off. Our bills were going to go up, more services would be charged for, investment would plummet, handset subsidies would end, roaming charges would go up everywhere else to compensate. Unsurprisingly, it was all bluff and bollocks, and the gravy train didn't so much as pause.

My girlfriends recent trip to Canada was a reminder of what a trip to Europe used to be like for data and calls only a couple of years ago; she managed to burn 10 quid between airport and town doing nothing more strenuous than checking her (minimal) mail.

So innovation to pump up profits I'll happily do without. Squeal away...

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Hiding costs

The entire motive behind this isn't innovation, it's a push to race to the bottom on *perceived* costs to the end user, by moving the costs elsewhere and hiding them (by making other companies pay). I fail to see how creating an unequal market place fosters innovation. If Youtube or Flickr had to pay for access to ISP subscribers from day one they never would have got off the ground.

The US telco market used to have something called reciprocal compensation. It was brought in after the Ma Bell breakup because the telco terminating an inter-LATA call received no compensation from the billing agency (the long distance carrier) for using their network. The originating carrier was compensated by the user in the form of their subscription. (why the terminating carrier didn't count the revenue from their subscriber I have no idea. Clearly the money they were charging for their line rental was too low. It's the same B.S. the ISPs are pulling now).

This lasted until the CLECs came along and figured out they could put dial up modem pools behind their switches and suddenly they were receiving millions of dollars a year from the ILEC for terminating dial-up calls to ISPs. Some CLECs initially built their business model on receiving those revenues.

The minute the tide turned against them the ILECs started screaming that it was unfair.

Of course it was - they rule they fought for was suddenly being used against them. To be honest, it probably was unfair. However the ILECs built themselves a nice little empire with access to millions of subscribers that they thought they controlled and that they could milk for all they were worth, including basically demanding other carriers pay them to make calls to their subscribers.

I'm waiting for someone to do the same to these greedy ISPs (most of whom are legacy telco's - go figure) who demanding money for access to their customers.

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What a classic scumbag...

...propaganda mouthpiece, GSMA... time to regulate and bust these price-cartels - since he's clearly full of it let's start with Mr Whitehead, let's get rid of these mafia-like parasitic organizations, doing nothing but lobbying for their quasi-monopoly status.

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Devil

Innovative business model!

Come on folks, stop ripping the poor telcos. They've found a brilliant business model to pursue!

Sell internet access. Brag about high speeds and streaming movies to sell contracts. Then complain about how customers are actually using the service and institute bandwidth limits and data caps. Meanwhile, demand money from those who produce the content (it's not the telcos) which made the internet access worth having in the first place.

Eventually, they hope to charge us for internet service without having to actually deliver anything. They will also charge the content providers for the right to have their content offered to - but not delivered to - customers. Money rolling in from all directions, and they can simply disconnect the cable and fire their support staff to save even more money.

Doesn't it sound like that's where they want to go? Making good on promises is so troublesome, much easier to break them...

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WTF?

All their arguments are bull%^&*

Providers are trying to make it sound like they are providing data passage for free.

Bull.

I pay my provider to send data up and down the line.

Provider has reciprocal arrangements with other networks (how good/bad depends on their negotiation skills)

Google/Netlfix/etc also have to enter in such agreements with other networks to get their data from point A to point B.

Basically, Google/Netflix/etc pay *someone* to pass data from their server's to the other carrier's network and I pay *someone* to download said data.

So, to me, most carriers' whining sound like "we've over-sold our capacity and now that people want to *actually use it* we need to find a way to throttle it again".

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ISP Reality Check

An ISP offers Internet access. Businesses, like consumers, pay for getting connected. Once they are connected, what transits on the lines have NOTHING TO DO WITH ISPs any more.

And it's not because we're talking about mobile that that changes anything. The only thing an ISP has the right to do is count the bits and charge according to contract.

Throttling, or interfering in any way over the kind of data, is simply not in the contract and should never be.

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Anonymous Coward

Price fairly and make money from willingness to pay

[Anon as I work for a company that supplies equipment to telcos to do policy management, charging, etc. So, these are just my own thoughts]

Net neutrality is the right thing. I realise that telcos are in a tough spot if they can't differentiate their services and if they can't find premium services people will pay for, but there are fair ways to do that within a neutral world.

Every company wants to offer slightly different products, at different price points, to be efficient. Otherwise, whatever price you choose is too high for some (leaving some part of the market unserved) and too low for others (leaving money on the table which they would have been willing to spend). That is why every company, in every market (IT, cars, coffee shops, airlines, supermarkets, etc) all have multiple variants of their basic product with different value and different price points. Telcos need to create the same range.

With net neutrality, everyone gets access to the same services -- so how do you differentiate? The answer is fairly straightforward: on capacity (usage) and on speed. Yes, it brings in metering, which we all dislike, but the quotas will be larger than they used to be (the point is to be able to charge well-off people a fair bit to be unlimited, not to mess around at the low-end -- that needs to be kept simple and cheap).

It also allow telcos to offer any service the chance to pay for a temporary upgrade for the user in order to deliver their content (a particular video, for example). As long as it doesn't affect everyone else, and it is available to all players equally, it is likely to be neutral.

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