2017: The year in review

Posted on Dec 21 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2017: The year in review

What a packed year 2017 has been for Entanet and for the sector as a whole. From the exciting news of us joining forces with CityFibre and creating a new breed of wholesaler, to an array of legislative developments including ongoing changes to the Investigatory Powers Act and Digital Economy Act and of course the continuing debates on related issues such as online encryption and how ISPs broadband speeds should be advertised – with much more to play out in all of these areas in 2018!

As ever we’ve tried to keep you at the heart of all the key issues through our opinion blog, so if you fancy a festive recap or perhaps an opportunity to catch up on some of the bits you may have missed over a mince pie, then download our ‘2017- A year of Opinion in review’ eBook for free.

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12th July – Day of action for US net neutrality

Posted on Jul 12 2017 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on 12th July – Day of action for US net neutrality
Categories : Net Neutrality, Regulation

Today, Wednesday 12th July, will see a ‘day of action’ across the Internet as several major US companies join a co-ordinated protest against proposed changes to US net neutrality laws.

To recap, net neutrality is the principle of treating all traffic over the Internet equally- so no service is favoured against another because they have paid the ISP delivering the service more money, for example. Under Obama’s Government the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) implemented legislation that protects that principle and forces providers to treat all traffic fairly. However, the new Trump led Government is looking to overturn that and give providers more power to decide how traffic is treated and potentially generate additional revenues through paid prioritisation, potentially blocking or slowing down access to other sites.

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‘Growing up on the Internet’ – Education is key!

Posted on Mar 23 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on ‘Growing up on the Internet’ – Education is key!

This week the House of Lords’ Communications Committee published a new report, ‘Growing up with the Internet’ which looks at how children should be protected online and sets out a number of new recommendations for industry and Government.

Key recommendations from the report are:

    • We recommend that all ISPs and mobile network operators should be required not only to offer child-friendly content control filters, but also for those filters to be ‘on’ by default for all customers. Adult customers should be able to switch off such filters.
    • Those responsible for providing filtering and blocking services need to be transparent about which sites they block and why, and be open to complaints from websites to review their decisions within an agreed timeframe. Filter systems should be designed to an agreed minimum standard.
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    Bye bye net neutrality, hello state censorship?

    Posted on Dec 13 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Bye bye net neutrality, hello state censorship?

    Not content with forcing ISPs to store the browsing history of UK citizens (as enshrined into law via the Investigatory Powers Act), the Government now appears to be ignoring the concept of net neutrality with its latest Bill entering the House of Lords. The Digital Economy Bill, due its second reading in the Lords today (13th December 2016), compels websites carrying material which “it is reasonable to assume from its nature that any classification certificate issued in respect of a video work including it would be an R18 certificate” to carry out age verification checks to try and stop youngsters accessing such material. If the sites don’t do this, ISPs will be required to block them. Yet EU net neutrality rules state that all Internet traffic must be treated equally and goes so far as to say that Governments cannot block access to sites that are legal – even if they are distasteful.

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    What you haven’t been told about BEREC’s net neutrality guidelines

    Posted on Sep 06 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on What you haven’t been told about BEREC’s net neutrality guidelines
    Categories : Net Neutrality, Regulation

    This time last week we were readying ourselves for BEREC (that’s the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications to you and us) to publish its latest round of guidance on net neutrality. The guidelines that it’s produced aim to help Ofcom (and its European counterparts) enforce the “common rules to safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet access services and related end-users’ rights” that came into force in November 2015. Following BEREC’s press conference, it didn’t take long for net neutrality advocates to declare the guidelines a victory for civil society. Meanwhile, telecoms companies across Europe and America, who have been campaigning to be able to exploit the Internet’s commercial opportunities to their fullest extent (this doesn’t include Entanet we hasten to add), gave their views on “a missed opportunity” through gritted teeth.

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    Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

    Posted on Jun 29 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

    Shock, awe, disgust, celebration. Whatever your reaction, nobody ever expected that we’d be left with no leadership and no plan of action. With David Cameron’s resignation, George Osborne and Theresa May keeping a very low profile and Boris Johnson off playing cricket, one may be forgiven for thinking our government has gone AWOL in the wake of last week’s Referendum vote. In any case, there is no firm plan and we’re all left scratching our heads as to what Brexit actually means for our country, our personal lives and the industry that we represent.

    Since businesses are keeping the country ticking over while the politicians scrabble around to decide who’s in charge and what needs to be done, we thought we’d seize the opportunity to remind Whitehall what needs to be considered so that the connectivity industry can depart from the EU as painlessly as possible.

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    Will UK net neutrality be broken by parental controls?

    Posted on Jan 19 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Will UK net neutrality be broken by parental controls?

    Most of our readers are well aware of the ongoing debate over the protection of net neutrality and its recent legal protection thanks to the EU. However, it looks like net neutrality could potentially be under threat once again and this time it’s from the UK Government and its plans to protect their existing ‘opt-in’ based parental controls.

    The Government already has agreements in place with most of the major ISPs to force Internet users to specifically ‘opt-in’ via their ISP to view sexually explicit or violent material, in an attempt to help protect children from inadvertently seeing unsuitable material online. This means the account holder has to specifically request to turn off any parental control style filters (usually at the point of signup by unchecking a box which is known as an ‘enforced’ option) and all filters will be turned on by default.

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    2015 – The year in review

    Posted on Dec 15 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2015 – The year in review

    It’s certainly been an eventful year within the industry, with plenty of innovations and new technologies and trends emerging, an abundance of regulatory changes both UK and EU based, industry process changes with things like the new switching process and channel unrest with a clear backlash against BT’s relationship with Openreach. We’ve tried to keep you up to date and informed about the key issues that affect you and your customers as part of this fascinating channel, as well as providing useful eBooks and sales advice along the way too.

    If you missed any of the blog this year and would like a quick recap, why not download our ‘2015- A year of Opinion in review’ eBook and have a catch up over the holidays. Simply enter your email address into the form field below to receive your free copy. 

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    EU misses chance to strengthen net neutrality protection

    Posted on Nov 02 2015 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on EU misses chance to strengthen net neutrality protection

    Last week the EU rejected further amendments to strengthen the new laws that will essentially protect the concept of net neutrality. Critics argue this leaves the legislation weak and means the Internet could still be susceptible to becoming ‘two tiered’ or having ‘fast lanes’.

    The amendments were attempting to restrict ‘overly broad language’ which critics argued ISPs could interpret to allow ‘fast lanes’ and ‘two tiered’ approaches to ensure a certain level of quality for premium services such as IPTV, but they were rejected by a huge majority in the vote. Instead the EU argues that this will be managed by regulators, although at this stage no further details were provided regarding potential punishments for contradiction of the rules.

    This is a concern we raised in our recent article “Net neutrality in Europe: Enshrined in law or open to abuse?” and it’s disappointing at this stage to see the EU didn’t go further to protect net neutrality when given the chance. However, looking on the positive side, this is the first time net neutrality has ever been afforded any form of legal protection, so at least it’s a start! If the regulator approach doesn’t work as effectively as they hope, let’s hope the process will be adequately reviewed and updated as necessary. We will have to wait and see.

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    Net neutrality in Europe: Enshrined in law or open to abuse?

    Posted on Jul 01 2015 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Net neutrality in Europe: Enshrined in law or open to abuse?
    Categories : Net Neutrality, Regulation

    You’ve probably seen in the news last week that data roaming charges will be abolished within the EU from June 2017 and, as part of the same announcement, net neutrality will become ‘enshrined in law’ from this date, albeit with a potentially concerning exception in our view.

    The EU will introduce ‘strong net neutrality rules’ from June 2017 which will ensure network providers (including mobile operators) treat all Internet traffic equally and will be unable to block and restrict certain types of traffic or applications. This follows previous complaints from VoIP providers who argued mobile operators were unfairly blocking their competitive services. We covered this issue in a guest blog from ITSPA (Mobile operators must follow net neutrality principles, says ITSPA).

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