Is zero-rating a net neutrality violation? Chilean regulators think the practice – where phone carriers offer certain web services for free, but not others – does violate the principle, and have banned the practice in that country. The European Union’s former digital chief thinks it doesn’t, arguing it’s a competition issue if anything. And now Norway’s regulators have offered their opinion, siding with their counterparts in Chile.
Norway has a “co-regulatory” approach to net neutrality, which is to say that the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT) has agreed to a set of guidelines with ISPs, content providers and consumer organizations. Adherence is voluntary but Norwegian ISPs have stuck to them since 2009, providing neutral internet access with the exception of using certain traffic management techniques.
In a Tuesday blog post, NPT senior advisor Frode Sørensen wrote that zero-rating definitely fell foul of the guidelines:
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