Swiss telcos ink net neutrality deal

Four telcos in Switzerland, as well as the country’s cable operator association Swisscable, have collaborated to form an official code of conduct for net neutrality in the country.

Swisscom, Sunrise, UPC Cablecom, Orange and the cable association have created regulation with the intention of ensuring that consumers in the country continue to have access to content, services, applications, hardware and software, with no application restrictions.

“The code states that network management for the purpose of ensuring quality and provision of services tailored to end users may continue, for example, when official rulings have to be put into effect, harmful activity blocked or capacity bottlenecks bypassed,” Swisscom said in a statement.

“In addition, time-critical services may be priorities, if customers so wish. This includes, for example, IP telephony, television, emergency calls, video conferencing and future telemedicine applications, in which data has to reach customers as quickly as possible.”

While stressing that they want to retain a “free” internet, the consortium admits that not all data traffic may be treated equally.

“It is extremely important that all data gets to the user as quickly as possible in order to ensure that data-based voice services (VoIP) and IP-based television are of the highest quality,” the statement continued. “Otherwise it is not possible to guarantee the high level of voice and image quality promised to customers and paid for by them.”

As part of the agreement, the consortium will also establish an ombudsman’s office to engage with independent experts.

Net neutrality has been a hotly discussed topic worldwide, as our cover story from May 2014 proves.

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