[A2k] Under the hood: Vote for a decentralised telecom infrastructure!

La Quadrature du Net contact at laquadrature.net
Wed Jun 7 22:46:18 PDT 2017


 
	* 

Press Release 

TAGS :EECC, COMMUNITY NETWORKS, DEMOCRACY, OPENESS, NETNEUTRALITY, DATA
PROTECTION, PRIVACY 

La Quadrature du Net -- For immediate release 

Permanent link:
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure
[1] 

UNDER THE HOOD: VOTE FOR A DECENTRALISED TELECOM INFRASTRUCTURE!

Paris, 7 June 2017 -- THE FUTURE OF THE DECENTRALISED NATURE OF THE
INTERNET IS AT STAKE WITH THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE EUROPEAN ELECTRONIC
COMMUNICATIONS CODE. LA QUADRATURE DU NET PUBLISHES ITS FIRST VOTING LISTS
[2] ON AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN TABLED IN COMMITTEES1 [3] AND REFERS TO
THE FACTSHEETS [4] (PDF [5]) DRAFTED BY NETCOMMONS. AS ANTICIPATED, THE
LOBBYING OF THE TELCOS HAS BEEN VERY USEFUL WITH MANY AMENDMENTS -
ESPECIALLY FROM THE RIGHT WING - THAT AIM TO PROTECT OLIGOPOLISTIC
POSITIONS OF MAJOR TELCOS, UNDERMINING ANY ATTEMPT OF OPENESS FOR NEW
ACTORS AND RIGHTS OF USERS. 

As part of the overhaul of the Telecom Package [6], the European Commission
has decided to create a European Code of Electronic Telecommunications.
This very complex and massive bill sets the rules for co-investment, radio
frequencies, access of small actors to the networks of incumbents,
encryption, connectivity country planning, etc. We already wrote [7] about
this text in our piece about the main rapporteur's, Mrs Pilar Del Castillo,
report. 

The list of amendments to be voted on 22 June in the IMCO committee and on
11 July on ITRE committee are tabled and negotiations on so-called
"compromise amendments" are ongoing. The compromise amendments reflect a
very opaque and undemocratic process where, through backroom deals, Members
of the EU Parliament try to shorten and simplify the vote by "mixing" their
different stances on the text according to the respective weight of
political groups. 

Despite the fact that all compromise amendments are not published yet2 [8],
La Quadrature du Net offers an appraisal of the tabled amendments in IMCO
[9] and ITRE [2] committees. These "voting lists" were drafted with the
goal of safeguarding rights in the Code for telecommunications, and making
sure that the telecom sector can open up to smaller actors, and in
particular Community Networks [10] (note that this voting list does not
consider the bad amendments tabled by Pilar del Castillo that should all to
be rejected). 

What is at stake: 

SPECTRUM - RADIO FREQUENCIES LICENSES

Mrs del Castillo along with oligopolistic operators wants to extend the
length of those licenses to an unreasonable amount of time: 25 to 30 years!
While the bigger actors will sit on their pile of licenses and their
so-called "market certainty", other actors such as smaller telecom
companies and non-profit actors, will be excluded from accessing the
spectrum commons. The on-going negotiations for compromise amendments
should promote shared and unlicenced access spectrum [11], which would
favor smaller operators and boost diversity in the telecom sector. To avoid
the privatisation and deplation of the public radio ressource, compromise
amendments should also ensure that national regulatory authorities (NRAs)
will deprive an operator from their exclusive licenses if they fail to
deliver on its commitments to make an effective and relevant use of the
allocated band. 

ACCESS TO NETWORK

To encourage local control adapted to local needs ("granularity"), and the
diversity of ISPs in telecom markets, it is necessary to get both active
and passive wholesale access. All actors must be able to connect themselves
to the network either through reasonable passive offers (at the individual
line level for example) or through active access if the size of the
operator does not enable it to get passive access. The current inequality
of offering for smaller actors leads to an inequality in access of the
market especially for smaller localities, with significant consequences on
competition, innovation, concentration of knowledge and territorial
cohesion and development. 

The compromise amendments must not give a priority on passive access over
the active access. On the contrary, offering both wholesale reasonable
passive and active access would ensure the development of small and local
actors and thus enhance competition, especially on the market for private
companies.3 [12] 

CO-INVESTMENT AND COMPETITION

The major challenge for co-investment policies is to allow smaller actors
to contribute and participate in the development and establishment of new
infrastructures, as a way to foster innovation and economic development.
Current provisions for co-investment practices do not allow non-profit or
local ISPs to take part to investments, restricting this opportunity only
to larger and incumbent actors. Although Community Networks and local SMEs
have proven successful in connecting underprivileged communities both in
urban and rural areas, it would be only normal to consider them as equal
members of the telecoms ecosystem, thus giving them fair and equal access
to co-investment opportunities.
 Moreover, co-investment in a certain area must be considered an oligopoly
of a few powerful actors (on the local level), as the FDN Federation showed
in their analysis [13] of the fixed market written for a consultation of
the ARCEP in 2016. These oligopolies work as a cartel. The co-investors, in
a given area, should be regarded as having the position of the incumbent in
that area. Such symmetric regulation would allow welcoming all actors into
the market. 

OPEN WIFI

Several national laws seek to prevent the sharing of Internet connections
amongst several users by making people liable for all communication made
through their Wi-Fi connection. In 2017, two German courts have found
individuals sharing their Wi-Fi connection liable for copyright
infringements committed by their users, which contravene the important
principles for intermediary liability set out in the Directive 2000/31/EC
[14] (Information Society Directive, also known as the "eCommerce
directive"). They were found liable because, despite having been warned by
rights-holders about such infringements, they did not take measures to
prevent them. Such liability is a major threat for small wireless community
network and a clear distortion of competition since 'traditional' Internet
access providers cannot be liable for infringements committed by their
users, even if they are aware of them, as provided by article 12 of
Information Society Directive. 

ENCRYPTION AND PRIVACY

Encrypting communications content from end to end by default is the only
way to effectively minimise the impact of security incidents. Any other
measure would barely have any effect. Furthermore, encryption is the main
technical means by which to implement the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC
[15], article 5(1), which prohibits any _"kinds of interception or
surveillance of communications (...) by persons other than users, without
the consent of the users concerned"_. It is also an efficient way for users
to implement their right to the art 7 of the EU Charter of fundamental
rights that protects communications. The EECC should thus include
provisions ensuring that electronic communications are encrypted from
end-to-end. 

Besides, the Code must comply with the CJEU ruling [16] from 21 December
2016 (cases C-203/15 and C-698/15, "Tele2"), and include a provision that
prohibits blanket data retention of traffic and location data for all
subscribers and registered users. 

FREE SOFTWARE ON TERMINALS

Article 3.3(i) of Directive 2014/53/EU [17] of the European Parliament and
of the Council provides that device manufacturers have to check every
software which can be loaded on the device regarding its compliance with
applicable radio regulations (e.g. signal frequency and strength). Such a
provision is not only a severe burden for manufacturers but also violating
the customers' rights of free choice. They will be locked in to software of
the manufacturers because they cannot choose the software and hardware
independently anymore. This aspect is crucial because alternative,
especially Free Software, often satisfies special requirements regarding
security, technical features and standards. 

It may severely hinder the development of radio local area networks by
Community Networks, which are often managed by individual volunteers using
custom Free Software adapted to such networks. Since Free Software may be
freely studied and improved by anyone, they should not be subject to the
restriction imposed by article 3.3(i) and the adoption of the Code is the
opportunity to remove such restrictions. 

UNIVERSAL SERVICE

Today and tomorrow, an Internet connection is at the centre of everyone's
life. Being connected to the Internet cannot be restricted to a slow and
uneven connection. Considering the importance of a public service,
especially in allowing less privileged people to participate in society,
the USO mechanism should be enhanced in order to enable the beneficiaries
to get a broadband access. We support the draft compromise amendments from
IMCO4 [18] that seek to ensure an equality between consumer benefiting from
USO and other consumers. 

THE EUROPEAN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION CODE IS THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY BEFORE
MANY YEARS TO BREAK THE OLIGOPOLISTIC DISASTER IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN
MOST MEMBER STATES. WE MUST LOOK AT THE POSITIVE CONSEQUENCES ON
COMPETITION, ON LOCAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC FABRIC AND USERS' CIVIL RIGHTS
THAT THE FUNDING AND DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE NETWORKS WILL HAVE. THE
THREAT IS BIG AND THE MAIN RAPPORTEUR, KNOWN FOR HER CLOSE INTERESTS WITH
CORPORATE TELCOS, TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THIS RECAST TO REINFORCE THE STATUS
QUO. MEMBERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MUST REFUSE CORPORATE LOBBIES'
BLACKMAIL AND SUPPORT INITIATIVES THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUCCESSFUL TO
DEVELOP THOSE LOCAL AND SUSTAINABLE NETWORKS. 

Read more: 

 	* La Quadrature's voting list for ITRE [2]
 	* La Quadrature's the voting list for IMCO [9]
 	* The factsheets [4] from netCommons (pdf [5])
 	* La Quadrature's working page [19]

 	* 1. [20] ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) is the committee
responsible for the text and IMCO (Internal market and consumer protection)
is the associated committee. See also the procedure file [21] on the
European Parliament's website.
 	* 2. [22] La Quadrature publishes the available leaked draft versions
[23].
 	* 3. [24] See the analysis on landline market from the ARCEP [25], the
French National regulatory authority.
 	* 4. [26] The amendments number 71, 79, 451, 455, 458, 460, 765, 766, 767
can be found on our wiki page [9].

ABOUT LA QUADRATURE DU NET

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and
freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for
the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding
principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.


>In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better
understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and
pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage
citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the
digital age. 

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society
Institute and Privacy International. 

List of supporting organisations:
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net [27] 

PRESS CONTACT AND PRESS ROOM

contact at laquadrature.net - +33 (0)972 294 426 

https://www.laquadrature.net/en/press-room [28] 

 _To unsubscribe, click here [29]_
 _La Quadrature du Net
60, rue des Orteaux
Paris, 75020
_ 

 

Links:
------
[1] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure
[2] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Paquet_Telecom_2017/amendements_ITRE
[3] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnote1_6j7102k
[4] http://netcommons.eu/?q=content/notes-european-electronic-communications-code-decisive-votes-european-parliament
[5] https://www.laquadrature.net/files/netcommons_eecc_notes_imco_itre.pdf
[6] https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/telecom-laws
[7] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/telecom-package-del-castillo-report
[8] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnote2_k5cbyc3
[9] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Paquet_Telecom_2017/amendements_IMCO
[10] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/netcommons-open-letter-EU-policy-makers-on-community-networks
[11] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/study-calls-on-eu-regulators-to-free-up-the-airwaves
[12] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnote3_4xufbme
[13] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/www.ffdn.org/en/node/129
[14] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32000L0031:en:HTML
[15] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32002L0058
[16] http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?num=C-203/15
[17] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32014L0053
[18] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnote4_othfwg0
[19] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Paquet_Telecom_2017/en
[20] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnoteref1_6j7102k
[21] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2016/0288%28COD%29&l=EN
[22] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnoteref2_k5cbyc3
[23] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Paquet_Telecom_2017#Amendements_de_compromis
[24] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnoteref3_4xufbme
[25] https://www.arcep.fr/uploads/tx_gspublication/orientations-marches-fixes-090117.pdf
[26] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/EECC-protect-Internet-decentralised-infrastructure#footnoteref4_othfwg0
[27] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net
[28] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/press-room
[29] http://www.laquadrature.net/civicrm/mailing/optout?reset=1&jid=449&qid=259346&h=25b3bf45aeec39f7



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