Published on : Dec 12, 2017
In the last quarter, a tantalizing offer was made to Swedish people, according to which, if they subscribed to Telia, the biggest telecom provider of Sweden, they could gain an unlimited access to Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and several other popular online apps. The Swedish authority that regulates the telecom business in the country, tried to stop it and argued that this arrangement violated the rules related to net neutrality in the European Union (EU). As per the rules mandated by EU, Internet providers are required to provide equal access to all contents on the web. However, as per Telia’s arrangement, once the data cap of the user was met, the provider would restrict online apps, barring these big ones. As of now, the issue is in the court but the offer is still available.
These kind of deals are also gaining substantial momentum in the U.S. On Thursday, December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission is likely to vote for reimplementation of regulations regarding net neutrality in the U.S. Although such rules are already implemented in the EU, telecom operators keep on pushing the boundaries at times in countries like Germany, Sweden, and Portugal, offering an indication of the future that companies and consumers in the U.S. may face, if the protections are compromised. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, is hoping for a sweeping repeal of the rules implemented in Barack Obama-era, paving the path for internet-service providers to charge more for certain content.