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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html newsdate="2022-06-28">
<title>Greece about to secure Router Freedom but leaves fiber out</title>
<h1 id="greece-about-to-secure-router-freedom-but-leaves-fiber-out">Greece about to secure Router Freedom but leaves fiber out</h1>
Greece is one step closer to securing Router Freedom, but regulators
are excluding fiber (FTTH) connections from the legislation. A
coalition of organisations, allies of the FSFE, is now requesting
that lawmakers reconsider this and thus safeguard the freedom of all
Since 2021, the <a href="/news/2021/news-20210505-01.html">regulatory
process</a> that defines the network termination point (the NTP) in
Greece has been carried out by the Hellenic Telecommunications and
Post Commission <a href="">(EETT)</a>. Defining
the NTP is necessary to determine whether users have the right to
choose their own router and modem or if their Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) have the final say over network equipment.
In April 2022, we welcomed that the Greek regulator proposed
legislation safeguarding Router Freedom for common networks, such as
DSL and coaxial. This is a leap forward in safeguarding consumer
rights. However, in the same proposal, EETT has explicitly excluded
fiber connections (FTTH), a decision that has the potential of
negatively impacting end-users’ rights. The proposed regulation sets
the NTP for fiber connections in a position that would make the
optical terminal equipment part of the ISPs’ networks, making home
network access equipment the property of the ISP.
The FSFE assisted a coalition of organisations to respond to the
EETT’s <a href="">public
consultation</a>, supporting the regulator to implement Router
Freedom for all types of internet connection, including FTTH.
<img src=""
alt="a phone socket and a router show where the NTP can be set"/>
The network termination point should be the passive physical point.
<h2 id="why-securing-router-freedom-for-fiber-is-a-must">Why securing Router Freedom for fiber is a must</h2>
Backed up by empirical data gathered from our <a
href="">Router Freedom
Survey</a>, we demonstrated in <a
submission</a> that defining the NTP at the passive point also for
fiber represents the best and only future-proof regulatory solution
that achieves striking the balance among consumer protection, fair
competition of terminal equipment markets, privacy, and security, as
well as sustainability of the telecom sector.
<p>Regarding FTTH, the survey responses report the following issues:</p>
<strong>Proprietary devices</strong>. Generally ONT devices are proprietary and
owned by ISPs. Because the devices are proprietary, end-users are not allowed to
inspect the source code of drivers and firmware running on the
devices, raising the level of insecurity and uncertainty as to which
functions the device is performing.
<strong>Undeveloped ONT market</strong>. The ONT market has still not developed in Europe. ONT devices are not easily available at retail stores and
alternatives are not openly available. There are routers that have
ONT built-in, but these alternatives are currently
&quot;semi-closed&quot;, and come with proprietary firmware.
<strong>Unlawful technical and commercial hurdles</strong>. Even in countries where
free choice of terminal equipment is a reality – like Germany and
the Netherlands – ISPs still impose several barriers to force use
of their own equipment on end-users. Within these jurisdictions,
network topologies would allow the connection of personal equipment
without any serious issues, ISPs make it cumbersome to replace
their terminals by not providing login data or other access
credentials, not offering technical support for the network as well
as threatening end-users with contract termination. These barriers
reportedly discourage end-users from deploying their own equipment and
are in flagrant non-compliance with telecommunications laws.
<h2 id="router-freedom-striking-a-balance-between-isps-and-end-users-interests">Router Freedom: striking a balance between ISPs&#39; and end-users&#39; interests</h2>
Determining the position of the NTP has a direct impact on divergent
interests of end-users and ISPs. While major ISPs seek to cover their
high investments in the deployment of new-generation networks,
end-users suffer with commercial practices that restrict their
legitimate rights to exercise digital freedoms. Therefore, we have
urged EETT to safeguard end-users&#39; interests by counterbalancing
the very restrictive arguments of ISPs on device security and network
integrity with the real technological necessities encountered in real
Looking through the historical perspective, the approach taken by
telecom operators follows a consistent pattern when new technologies
emerge. Since 2001 we have experienced this argumentation pattern
being raised by ISPs. <a href="/news/2020/news-20200302-01.html">Network
security and integrity are the “scapegoats”</a> for every emerging
technology by which end-users could have higher degrees of freedom.
The same restrictive behaviour and argumentation used to limit free
choice of terminal equipment in fiber networks were previously used
when DSL and coax technologies were being laid down. However, as our
data demonstrates, ISPs&#39; concerns do not resound in reality, as
the number of disruptions caused by end-users is insignificantly low.
This situation clearly shows that there is no <a href="/news/2020/news-20200601-01.html">objective
technological necessity</a> to exclude FTTH from the standard passive
position of the NTP.
Digital rights should not be compromised just because a product, the
optical network terminal, is not yet widely available on the market.
Keeping the network termination point at the passive physical point
for fiber networks will legally make sure that people can use their
own equipment. Securing the right to Router Freedom in
next-generation networks will foster innovation in the terminal
equipment market.
<figure class="no-border">
<a href="">
<img src="" alt="Four benefits of Router Freedom. #1. Choose your own router. The device given by your internet service provider should not be the only possibility. #2 Secure your internet connection. Routers transmit personal data. Some terminal equipment offers greater privacy than others. Determine for yourself the level of security you want. #3. Upgrade your router. Increase the speed and coverage of your router. Make it compatible with your devices. Configure, improve, and repair your router. Its performance should be up to you. #4. Avoid a router monopoly. If you can only use the equipment provided by a single company, your possibilities might be less secure or user-friendly. And you will have no alternative. Get the most out of the innovations in the router market."/>
<h2 id="supporting-router-freedom-for-all-types-of-network-connections-in-greece">Supporting Router Freedom for all types of network connections in Greece</h2>
As we said in our submission, more than 90% of the survey respondents
manifested support for regulatory policies safeguarding the right to
choose and use routers and modems.
Fiber networks are the connections of the future. The EETT has taken a courageous position to set the position of the NTP at the passive point for legacy networks, but we reinforce the urge for guaranteeing the free choice of terminal equipment for the next generations and emerging technologies. End-users recognise the need to maintain a safe, open, and secure internet connection. Allowing them to choose and use their own equipment is a fundamental step in this direction.
The new round of the public consultation about the definition of the
network terminal point was concluded in June 2022. Our position <a href="">(EN)</a>,
<a href="">(EL)</a>
was also supported by key stakeholders in the field of digital
rights, consumer protection, and business representation:
<li><a href="">Alliance of Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (VTKE)</a></li>
<li><a href="">GreekLUG</a></li>
<li><a href="">Consumer Protection Centre (KEPKA)</a></li>
<li><a href="">Homo Digitalis</a></li>
<li><a href="">Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS)</a> </li>
<li><a href=""> - Community Wireless Network</a> </li>
<h2 id="the-router-freedom-initiative">The Router Freedom initiative</h2>
<a href="/activities/routers/routers.html">Router
Freedom</a> is the right that consumers of any ISP have to be able to
choose and use a private modem and router instead of equipment that
the ISP provides. Since 2013, the Free Software Foundation Europe has
been successfully engaged with Router Freedom, promoting
end-users&#39; freedom in many European countries. Join us and learn
more about the several ways to <a href="/news/2021/news-20210330-01.html">get
involved</a>. <a href="">Please consider
becoming a FSFE donor</a>; you help make possible our long-term
engagement and professional commitment in defending people&#39;s
rights to control technology.
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="gr">Greece</tag>
<tag key="routers">Router Freedom</tag>
<discussion href=""/>
<image url=""
alt="a phone socket and a router show where the NTP can be set"/>