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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2019-11-20">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Input for the BEREC's guidelines on Router Freedom in Europe</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Input for the BEREC's guidelines on Router Freedom in Europe</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">
  9. Router Freedom is the right of customers of any Internet Service
  10. Provider (ISP) to choose and use a private modem and router instead
  11. of a router that the ISP forces them to use. The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) drafted guidelines for national agencies how to deal with
  12. Router Freedom in their countries. The Free Software Foundation
  13. Europe (FSFE) provided mixed feedback to an ongoing public
  14. consulation.
  15. </p>
  16. <p>
  17. The status of <a href="/activities/routers">Router Freedom</a> in
  18. Europe differs from country to country as the <a
  19. href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/#Router_Freedom_in_Europe">monitoring
  20. by the FSFE</a> shows. The core of the debate is the question of
  21. where the Network Termination Point (NTP) is located. This defines where
  22. the network of the ISP ends and where the network of the user begins. If
  23. the modem and router are considered part of the ISP's infrastructure, a user cannot claim
  24. sovereignty of their communication and security.
  25. </p>
  26. <p>
  27. The patchwork rug of different rules may change soon as BEREC, the
  28. Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, has been
  29. commissioned to create guidelines for the National Regulatory
  30. Agencies (NRAs) and help them with implementing European regulation
  31. in a harmonised way. <a
  32. href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/routers/8821-draft-berec-guidelines-on-common-approac_0.pdf">BEREC's
  33. current draft of the guidelines</a> is up for public consultation
  34. until 21 November 2019. We analysed this draft and the EU
  35. Directives and Regulations it references, and provided our conclusion in a <a
  36. href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/routers/20191121-BEREC-Guidelines-Consultation.pdf">brief
  37. document</a>.
  38. </p>
  39. In short, BEREC puts three different models forward to discussion:
  40. <figure>
  41. <img
  42. src="/picturebase/campaigns/routers/BEREC-NTP-locations.png"
  43. alt="Three options shared by BEREC for the location of the NTP"/>
  44. <figcaption>
  45. The three discussed options for the location of the NTP. Source: BEREC
  46. </figcaption>
  47. </figure>
  48. <ol>
  49. <li>
  50. The network termination point is at location A. This means that
  51. routers and modems are under the user's control, who can decide which
  52. device to use – either the one recommended and provided by the ISP
  53. or one by a third party. That would result in Router Freedom.
  54. </li>
  55. <li>
  56. The NTP is at B. This means that only the modem (so the device
  57. connecting to the ISP) will be part of the ISP's network, but
  58. routers or media boxes will be in the user's domain.
  59. </li>
  60. <li>
  61. The NTP is at C. That's the most restrictive option as it results
  62. in the modem and router or a combined device being solely under the
  63. control of the ISP.
  64. </li>
  65. </ol>
  66. <p>
  67. Understandably, we argued in favour of making point A the network
  68. termination point to establish and protect freedom of choice, privacy
  69. and data protection, fair competition of device manufacturers, as well as
  70. security. Furthermore, we made a few suggestions to improve the
  71. guidelines and their implementation by the National Regulatory
  72. Agencies:
  73. </p>
  74. <ul>
  75. <li>
  76. In this draft, the guidelines carefully weigh up the different
  77. possible locations for the NTP. However, it is clear from the
  78. arguments that only point A makes sense from a perspective of
  79. customers and businesses, and that no serious technological reasons
  80. speak against it. BEREC should take a more firm stand on this and
  81. discourage National Agencies from making any other choice to reduce
  82. a patchwork rug of different regulations.
  83. </li>
  84. <li>
  85. There is a whole section discussing the impact of the different NTP
  86. locations on ISPs and network operators, but users' necessities are
  87. only implied, although a EU Directive from 2008
  88. and a EU Regulation from 2015 clearly state that customers have to
  89. have Router Freedom. We ask BEREC to elaborate the
  90. different options also more prominently from the perspective of
  91. technology users.
  92. </li>
  93. </ul>
  94. <h2>Get active</h2>
  95. <p>
  96. You can still participate in the public consultation by just sharing
  97. your feedback on the draft BEREC guidelines <a
  98. href="https://berec.europa.eu/eng/news_consultations/ongoing_public_consultations/5912-public-consultation-on-draft-berec-guidelines-on-common-approaches-to-the-identification-of-the-network-termination-point-in-different-network-topologies">by
  99. sending an e-mail to them</a> <strong>before 21 November 2019 17:00
  100. CET</strong>. It's a short deadline, so feel free to use our <a
  101. href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/routers/20191121-BEREC-Guidelines-Consultation.pdf">full
  102. response</a> as an inspiration.
  103. </p>
  104. <p>
  105. If you need more arguments in favour of Router Freedom, please read
  106. our <a href="/activities/routers/">summary page</a>. For individuals
  107. and groups who want to become even more active for Router Freedom, we
  108. have created an <a
  109. href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/">activity
  110. package</a> with more background information, experience reports of
  111. how the FSFE managed to turn the situation around in Germany, and
  112. other tips and tricks.
  113. </p>
  114. </body>
  115. <tags>
  116. <tag content="Router Freedom">routers</tag>
  117. <tag content="Competition">competition</tag>
  118. <tag content="Policy">policy</tag>
  119. <tag>front-page</tag>
  120. </tags>
  121. <author id="mehl" />
  122. </html>