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OTT Services: Collaborative Regulation Can Promote Internet Neutrality

Published By :

Pyramid Research

Published Date : Feb 2016

Category :


No. of Pages : 63 Pages

The explosive growth of over-the-top (OTT) services has disrupted the telecommunications market by boosting competition and by creating a phenomenal traffic load on the transport pipes of ISPs. Network providers are using traffic differentiation to manage the increased volume and distribute the cost of additional capacity, which has raised equal-access concerns among online content and service providers and consumers. As many governments around the world strive to address the issue, regulators are grappling with how to maintain Internet equality without discouraging sector growth.

Key Findings

  • The rapid uptake of OTT services globally is a major driver of the growth in data traffic for broadband providers. Popular OTT applications have disrupted the traffic management models of ISPs by exponentially expanding the volume of content carried over the Internet. The increased data load has created challenges for ISPs, which are coming up with methods for managing congestion.
  • Traffic management by ISPs has prompted governments to intervene to ensure Internet traffic equality. The need for government intervention to achieve a neutral Internet has been debated for a long time. Since the rise of the public Internet, governments have been weighing the merits of regulating such an expansive space against the risks of curtailing freedom.
  • Regulators must recognize the factors that enable a sustainable net neutrality program. A concerted implementation plan is needed to push forward the net neutrality agenda and attain sustainable progress. Some key enablers are identified based on each country

Table of Contents

Executive summary 

Introduction: Report scope and definitions
Report scope 
Definition of over-the-top services 
Internet neutrality definition 

Section 1: Dynamics shaping the OTT environment
Growth drivers and trends – OTT video 
Growth drivers and trends – OTT messaging 
Growth drivers and trends – OTT telephony 
The impact of OTT services on network providers 

Section 2: Ecosystem player views
Diverging stances on net neutrality 
The governments’ dilemma 
Autonomy is key for ISPs 
Consumers want open access, equality and more choices 
OTTs: Neutrality benefits consumers and the entire ecosystem 

Section 3: Case studies – Approaches to regulating net neutrality
Regulating net neutrality: Same goal, different paths 
Regulatory frameworks for net neutrality 
Case study: United Kingdom 
Case study: France
Case study: South Korea
Case study: United States 
Case study: European Union 
Case study: Chile
Case study: Brazil 

Section 4: Key findings and recommendations
Key findings: Impetus for net neutrality regulation 
Key findings: Regulatory models 
Key findings: Principles and enablers 
Recommendations: Partnerships 
Recommendations: Multi-stakeholder initiatives 
Recommendations: Collaboration with regulators (co-regulation)
Recommendations: Collaboration with consumer groups
and content providers 

Companies, organizations and government entities mentioned 
About Pyramid Research 
Meet us in person

List of Table


List of Chart

Exhibit 1: Study scope 
Exhibit 2: Main types of OTT services 
Exhibit 3: Net neutrality definitions from selected stakeholders
Exhibit 4: Online service providers’ shares of fixed-access Internet traffic in North America 
Exhibit 5: Top players in OTT mobile messaging 
Exhibit 6: Top OTT voice providers worldwide
Exhibit 7: Impact of OTT growth on network providers 
Exhibit 8: Alternative views on net neutrality regulation 
Exhibit 9: Governments’ balancing act 
Exhibit 10: Principles advocated by ISPs 
Exhibit 11: Principles advocated by Internet users 
Exhibit 12: Principles advocated by OTT service providers 
Exhibit 13: Case study markets by initial regulatory approach to net neutrality 
Exhibit 14: Scope of net neutrality regulation in selected countries 
Exhibit 15: The UK’s path to net neutrality regulation 
Exhibit 16: The UK’s collaborative approach 
Exhibit 17: Netflix ISP speed index, UK, Nov 2015 
Exhibit 18: France’s path to net neutrality 
Exhibit 19: ARCEP’s focus areas, 2010–2015 
Exhibit 20: CNNum’s framework proposal, France 
Exhibit 21: South Korea’s path to net neutrality regulation 
Exhibit 22: KakaoTalk users, Q1 2013 to Q2 2015 
Exhibit 23: Netflix streaming subscriber growth, globally 
Exhibit 24: The path to net neutrality in the US 
Exhibit 25: FCC net neutrality rules, 2015 
Exhibit 26: Plaintiffs in 2015 net neutrality lawsuits 
Exhibit 27: The European Union’s path to net neutrality 
Exhibit 28: Trajectory of the EU’s net neutrality regulatory package 
Exhibit 29: EU net neutrality at a glance 
Exhibit 30: Chile’s path to net neutrality regulation 
Exhibit 31: Virgin Mobile free bundled app offer 
Exhibit 32: Average broadband speeds, Latin America 
Exhibit 33: Brazil’s path to net neutrality regulation 
Exhibit 34: Most frequently used OTT apps, Brazil 
Exhibit 35: Divergent views of net neutrality, Brazil 
Exhibit 36: Common principles 
Exhibit 37: Policy enablers

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