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<title>Compulsory routers Timeline FSFE</title>
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<p id="category"><a href="/activities/routers/routers.html">Compulsory routers</a></p>
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<h1 class="p-name">Timeline of compulsory routers</h1>
<div class="e-content">
<div id="introduction">
<p>Compulsory routers are a delicate topic and just because of that very complex.
Many government agencies, corporations, and organisations already contributed to
the public discussion and took part in numerous hearings and comments. Here the
FSFE lists the most important events which lead to the current state and also draws
a picture of the future development of compulsory routers.</p>
</div>
<h2>Current state and glance into the future</h2>
<p>The current situation is unclear. It appears there was a meeting of the
Federal Network Agency and some associations. None of the associations
that the FSFE contacted prior were invited to this meeting. To our knowledge <a
href="/news/2014/news-20140328-01.html">the original draft from February</a>
has been revised and is currently being coordinated between the Ministry of Economic
Affairs and other ministries. After that there shall be another opportunity for commenting
before the regulations are passed on to the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag).</p>
<p>At the moment it is still unclear how the network termination point is exactly specified.
According to <a
href="http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/tkg_2004/__45n.html">§45n TKG</a> it seems to
be the opinion of the Federal Network Agency that they are neither allowed to set a final
definition of the network termination point (ergo up to what point the Internet service
providers jurisdiction reaches) nor are they required to define verifiable measuring tools to measure
the quality of the Internet. This is peculiar because at both hearings they mostly dealt with
this topic.</p>
<p>It is possible these aspects are going to be clarified by the German telecommunication law.
The cause for this may be the European <a
href="http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/connected-continent-legislative-package">
TSM package (Telecoms Single Market)</a>. It is, however, unclear if and when this
Europe-wide package will come. Therefore we fear that the legal ambiguities lead to
consumers continuously being restricted. In a few years this would be hard to reverse.</p>
<h2>The story so far</h2>
<ul>
<li><strong>28.03.2014</strong>:
Together with the CCC and other projects and experts, the FSFE praises the basic
idea in a <a href="/news/2014/news-20140328-01.html">press release</a> and a
<a href="/activities/routers/files/20140328_Stellungnahme-TKTransparenzV-FSFE.pdf">
detailed statement (German) </a> but clearly criticises that users are further burdened
and that the proposed test methods are inconsistently considered. Most interestingly,
the formulation of the regulation is substantially weaker than that in the coalition
agreement, and the still-unaddressed question of network termination points is not
even mentioned.</li>
<li><strong>24.02.2014</strong>:
After the first large hearing, the Federal Network Agency publishes a <a
href="/activities/routers/files/20140224_BNetzA-TKTransparenzV-Entwurf.pdf">
transparency bill</a> that eliminates compulsory routers and should improve the
transparency of telecommunication companies for customers. Comments
may be submitted until the end of March 2014.</li>
<li><strong>16.12.2013</strong>:
After the German Federal Parliament elections in the end of September, the coalition agreement
is officially signed. In it, the CDU, CSU, and SPD clearly speak out against
compulsory routers and demand that <a href="/news/2013/news-20131211-01.html#1">
every customer must receive all necessary access information unasked.</a>
Such a clear statement of position from the coalition parties can be explained by
the media response (for example from
<a href="http://www.golem.de/news/routerzwang-fsfe-warnt-vor-grossen-nachteilen-durch-provider-geraete-1311-102562.html">Golem (German)</a>,
<a href="http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/FSFE-und-Konsumentenbund-beziehen-Stellung-gegen-Zwangsrouter-2039691.html">Heise (German)</a> and
<a href="https://netzpolitik.org/2013/routerzwang-ccc-fsfe-und-konsumentenbund-veroeffentlichen-stellungsnahmen/">Netzpolitik (German)</a> as well as
<a href="http://www.focus.de/digital/internet/nahrung-fuer-aengste-experten-gegen-router-zwang-von-internet-providern_aid_1150249.html">Focus (German)</a>,
<a href="http://www.fr-online.de/digital/experten-wenden-sich-gegen-routerzwang-beim-internet-zugang,27395004,24917956.html">Frankfurter Rundschau (German)</a>,
<a href="http://www.n-tv.de/technik/Routerzwang-nur-bei-Providern-beliebt-article11679651.html">NTV (German)</a> and
<a href="http://www.sueddeutsche.de/digital/aktivisten-gegen-provider-mit-aller-macht-gegen-den-routerzwang-1.1811577">Süddeutsche (German)</a>)
and the enormous interest from the population.</li>
<li><strong>04.11.2013</strong>: The FSFE joins numerous other
organisations and individuals by sending an <a href="/activities/routers/files/20131104_Stellungnahme-Schnittstellen-398-FSFE.pdf">extensive public statement to the Federal Network Agency</a> (<a
href="/news/2013/news-20131104-02.html">here the press release</a>) upon
completion of the public hearings. The statement contains answers to
almost all the posed questions with specific regard to the existing and
potential disadvantages of compulsory routers.
<p>The majority of the 309 statements argues against compulsory routers.
Unsurprisingly, the only two groups that are in favour are Internet Service Providers
and Network Providers. Notable arguments have been filed by e.g. AVM, CCC,
and Sipgate. The Federal Networking Agency has <a
href="/activities/routers/files/20140414_Verzeichnis-Stellungnahmen-3982013.pdf">collected all statements</a>.</p></li>
<li><strong>20.09.2013</strong>: The Federal Network Agency starts a <a
href="/activities/routers/files/20130920_Anhörung-Schnittstellen-3982013.pdf">public hearing (398/2013)</a>
on the disputed network termination points. At the hearing, many - partly very
technical - questions related to possible definitions are posed which are directly
related to compulsory routers. Just a few days later the FSFE publishes <a
href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/mk/routerzwang-fsfes-schreiben-zur-konsultation-der-bundesnetzagentur/">a preliminary statement</a>,
in which it voices serious concerns for security, consumer-friendliness,
and competition.</li>
<li><strong>31.07.2013:</strong>: In a <a
href="http://www.computerundrecht.de/netzneutralitaet-zweiter-entwurf(1).pdf">second
draft of the "net neutrality regulation", compulsory routers are discussed in §3</a> (PDF).
Contrary to the first draft, the term used now is “Endgerätenetzneutralität”, which (roughly)
translates to "terminal device net neutrality".</li>
<li><strong>25.06.2013</strong>: The Federal Network Agency organises a
workshop on the topic of compulsory routers and designs four models for resolution.</li>
<li><strong>17.06.2013</strong>: The BMWi (Ministry of Economic) presents the <a
href="http://www.cr-online.de/Netzneutralitaetsverordnung_Entwurf_des_BMWI_17.6.2013.pdf">draft
of a net neutrality regulation according to §41a Abs.1 TKG</a> (PDF). In §3,
compulsory routers are specifically addressed and rejected.</li>
<li><strong>04.06.2013</strong>: The <a
href="/activities/routers/files/20130604_Antwort-Bundesregierung.pdf">federal
government responds to the "minor interpellation"</a> made on the
17th of May. In it, open questions are treated very carefully and responsibilities
are more or less redirected towards the Federal Network Agency. The BMWi
does not consider itself to be part of the topic, since the FNA at this point of
time still is involved in talks with Network Providers and router manufacturers. An <a
href="https://netzpolitik.org/2013/router-zwang-bundesregierung-unternimmt-nichts-bundesnetzagentur-will-nach-prufung-nochmal-reden/">article
on Netzpolitik</a> summarises these circumstances thoroughly.</li>
<li><strong>17.05.2013</strong>: The fraction “DIE LINKE” poses a <a
href="/activities/routers/files/20130517_Kleine-Anfrage-Linke.pdf">“minor interpellation”
to the federal government</a> related to the statements made by the Federal Networking Agency.
In it, the question on whether a router qualifies as an access point or a telecommunication
device and in how far the end-user may interfere with it is posed.</li>
<li><strong>22.01.2013</strong>: Among others, the German manufacturer
of telecommunication devices AVM <a href="http://avm.de/presse/presseinformationen/2013/avm-zu-aussagen-der-bundesnetzagentur-wegen-routerzwang-und-nichtherausgabe-von-kennwoertern/">comments on the issue</a> and
compares the situation with the mobile market, where providers
do not dictate to their customers which phone to use.</li>
<li><strong>10.01.2013</strong>: The roots of the public debate of compulsory routers
can be found in a <a href="http://pastebin.com/F7UHra0h">reply to an anonymous user
made by the Federal Network Agency</a>.
The user criticises the coupling of his DSL contract with a specific router. He does so in reaction to an <a
href="http://www.pcwelt.de/ratgeber/Online-Keine_Chance_dem_Router-Zwang_-6945376.html">extensive article of the professional magazine "PC-WELT"</a>,
in which the common practices of DSL providers are criticised.
The Federal Networking Agency deems this behaviour to be justified,
since the DSL provider in question defines the router to be part of the
network and thus the infrastructure he provides. Therefore, the end-user
should and must not exchange it against another device.
<p>Here, the basic conflict becomes clear: the Federal Network Agency cannot
or does not want to decide where the network of the Internet provider ends and
from where the user has full control. Especially in terms of routers that include
a modem and numerous other functions (IAD, Integrated Access Device), there
are many unresolved issues and a need for clear definitions. </p></li>
</ul>
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<sidebar promo="our-work">
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<h2>More about compulsory routers</h2>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2014/why-free-choice-of-routers-is-an-unnegotiable-must/">Why free choice of routers is an nonnegotiable must</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/FSFE-und-Konsumentenbund-beziehen-Stellung-gegen-Zwangsrouter-2039691.html">Article on heise.de (05.11.2013) about compulsory routers (German)</a></li>
</ul>
</sidebar>
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