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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2019-11-20">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>Input for the BEREC's guidelines on Router Freedom in Europe</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>Input for the BEREC's guidelines on Router Freedom in Europe</h1>
  9. <p>
  10. Router Freedom is the right of customers of any Internet Service
  11. Provider (ISP) to choose and use a private modem and router instead
  12. 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
  13. Router Freedom in their countries. The Free Software Foundation
  14. Europe (FSFE) provided mixed feedback to an ongoing public
  15. consulation.
  16. </p>
  17. <p>
  18. The status of <a href="/activities/routers">Router Freedom</a> in
  19. Europe differs from country to country as the <a
  20. href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/#Router_Freedom_in_Europe">monitoring
  21. by the FSFE</a> shows. The core of the debate is the question of
  22. where the Network Termination Point (NTP) is located. This defines where
  23. the network of the ISP ends and where the network of the user begins. If
  24. the modem and router are considered part of the ISP's infrastructure, a user cannot claim
  25. sovereignty of their communication and security.
  26. </p>
  27. <p>
  28. The patchwork rug of different rules may change soon as BEREC, the
  29. Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, has been
  30. commissioned to create guidelines for the National Regulatory
  31. Agencies (NRAs) and help them with implementing European regulation
  32. in a harmonised way. <a
  33. href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/routers/8821-draft-berec-guidelines-on-common-approac_0.pdf">BEREC's
  34. current draft of the guidelines</a> is up for public consultation
  35. until 21 November 2019. We analysed this draft and the EU
  36. Directives and Regulations it references, and provided our conclusion in a <a
  37. href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/routers/20191121-BEREC-Guidelines-Consultation.pdf">brief
  38. document</a>.
  39. </p>
  40. In short, BEREC puts three different models forward to discussion:
  41. <figure>
  42. <img
  43. src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/37c03c4a34cb2a6c58d347c0b29f0a4d.png"
  44. alt="Three options shared by BEREC for the location of the NTP"/>
  45. <figcaption>
  46. The three discussed options for the location of the NTP. Source: BEREC
  47. </figcaption>
  48. </figure>
  49. <ol>
  50. <li>
  51. The network termination point is at location A. This means that
  52. routers and modems are under the user's control, who can decide which
  53. device to use – either the one recommended and provided by the ISP
  54. or one by a third party. That would result in Router Freedom.
  55. </li>
  56. <li>
  57. The NTP is at B. This means that only the modem (so the device
  58. connecting to the ISP) will be part of the ISP's network, but
  59. routers or media boxes will be in the user's domain.
  60. </li>
  61. <li>
  62. The NTP is at C. That's the most restrictive option as it results
  63. in the modem and router or a combined device being solely under the
  64. control of the ISP.
  65. </li>
  66. </ol>
  67. <p>
  68. Understandably, we argued in favour of making point A the network
  69. termination point to establish and protect freedom of choice, privacy
  70. and data protection, fair competition of device manufacturers, as well as
  71. security. Furthermore, we made a few suggestions to improve the
  72. guidelines and their implementation by the National Regulatory
  73. Agencies:
  74. </p>
  75. <ul>
  76. <li>
  77. In this draft, the guidelines carefully weigh up the different
  78. possible locations for the NTP. However, it is clear from the
  79. arguments that only point A makes sense from a perspective of
  80. customers and businesses, and that no serious technological reasons
  81. speak against it. BEREC should take a more firm stand on this and
  82. discourage National Agencies from making any other choice to reduce
  83. a patchwork rug of different regulations.
  84. </li>
  85. <li>
  86. There is a whole section discussing the impact of the different NTP
  87. locations on ISPs and network operators, but users' necessities are
  88. only implied, although a EU Directive from 2008
  89. and a EU Regulation from 2015 clearly state that customers have to
  90. have Router Freedom. We ask BEREC to elaborate the
  91. different options also more prominently from the perspective of
  92. technology users.
  93. </li>
  94. </ul>
  95. <h2>Get active</h2>
  96. <p>
  97. You can still participate in the public consultation by just sharing
  98. your feedback on the draft BEREC guidelines <a
  99. 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
  100. sending an e-mail to them</a> <strong>before 21 November 2019 17:00
  101. CET</strong>. It's a short deadline, so feel free to use our <a
  102. href="https://download.fsfe.org/policy/routers/20191121-BEREC-Guidelines-Consultation.pdf">full
  103. response</a> as an inspiration.
  104. </p>
  105. <p>
  106. If you need more arguments in favour of Router Freedom, please read
  107. our <a href="/activities/routers/">summary page</a>. For individuals
  108. and groups who want to become even more active for Router Freedom, we
  109. have created an <a
  110. href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/">activity
  111. package</a> with more background information, experience reports of
  112. how the FSFE managed to turn the situation around in Germany, and
  113. other tips and tricks.
  114. </p>
  115. </body>
  116. <tags>
  117. <tag key="routers">Router Freedom</tag>
  118. <tag key="competition">Competition</tag>
  119. <tag key="policy">Policy</tag>
  120. <tag key="front-page"/>
  121. </tags>
  122. <author id="mehl" />
  123. </html>