Slovenian operators told to halt zero rating

27 Jan 2015

Slovenia’s telecoms watchdog, the Agency for Communications Networks & Services (Agencija za komunikacijska omrezja in storitve, AKOS), has ruled that cellular operators Telekom Slovenije and Si.mobil are violating the country’s net neutrality laws. The regulator says that the pair have been exempting certain services from mobile data charges so that the bandwidth used does not count towards a subscriber’s mobile data allowance, a process known as ‘zero rating’. According to the regulator, Telekom has offered its users free access to music streaming service Deezer, while Si.mobil has done the same with its cloud storage service Hangar Mapa, and this contravenes Slovenia’s Electronic Communications Act in relation to positive price discrimination. The cellcos have been given 60 days to ensure that all data services are priced equally.

Slovenia is one of only a handful of European states which have introduced net neutrality legislation, along with the Netherlands and Norway. As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate last week, a blanket ban on positive price discrimination across the European Union (EU) is now looking unlikely, as legislators appear to be leaning towards allowing member states to choose their own stance on the matter.