Ofcom closes net neutrality investigation related to Three and Vodafone

3 Aug 2018

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced that it is closing investigations into mobile network operators (MNOs) Hutchison 3G UK (Three) and Vodafone UK to assess their compliance with the EU Open Internet Access Regulation 2015. In so doing, the regulator noted that it was taking no further action against either of the cellcos.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Ofcom opened the investigations in March 2018, saying that with regards to Three it would examine the cellco’s practices of: restricting tethering; imposing restrictions on the devices in which a SIM can be used; and traffic management practices such as ‘throttling’ or intentionally slowing down particular categories of traffic. Meanwhile, in relation to Vodafone the watchdog examined: traffic management practices relating to ‘Vodafone Passes’; and the transparency of exceptions to zero rating within the Vodafone Passes products.

In closing the Three investigation, Ofcom said it had done so after securing written assurances from the cellco that it had made changes to its tethering and traffic management practices to address concerns with its compliance with net neutrality and roaming rules. Based on the information gathered and the assurances received from Three, Ofcom said it was satisfied that there was no need for further action at this time. Meanwhile, it was confirmed that the Vodafone investigation had been halted after the operator provided written assurances that it had stopped restricting video quality in its Vodafone Passes.

United Kingdom, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK), Ofcom, Vodafone UK