Corona crisis: network operators may restrict services and access

Operators may reduce the quality of individual services if the network is overloaded. Appropriate measures should be taken in accordance with the Network Neutrality Regulation the Federal Network Agency on March 25, 2020. "The networks are currently stable and no serious impairments are currently expected. The providers are well prepared for an increase in data traffic"said Jochen Homann, President of the Federal Network Agency. An overload situation is not currently expected, but cannot be ruled out due to the dynamics of the situation.

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If the streaming is throttled, the entire data traffic category should be throttled equally and not just individual providers. "Throttling video streaming could allow video conferencing services to be prioritized"the authority said.

Measures that affect the Internet access as a whole, such as limiting the maximum data transfer rate or other quality parameters, are permitted. For example, suspending zero ratings or limiting volumes is also conceivable. In this case, the Federal Network Agency has developed a guide with solutions and measures for permissible traffic management.

The proactive measures taken by large content providers such as Netflix, Youtube, Amazon or Facebook to relieve the network are to be welcomed. These providers have adapted their transmission qualities for streaming services across Europe.

The Federal Network Agency is in regular contact with the telecommunications industry. The companies reported daily on the situation in the networks.

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