Press release - Coping with the increased demand for network connectivity
The Body of the European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the European Commission have issued a joint statement on how to cope with the increased traffic load due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is setting up a special process in order to monitor the situation and be ready to respond to any crisis of supply on the telecom network.
Pursuant to the Open Internet Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/2020 Article 3.3), operators are authorised to apply exceptional traffic management measures, inter alia, to prevent impending network congestion and to mitigate the effects of exceptional or temporary network congestion, always under the condition that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally. This could become relevant, following the confinement measures taken to address the Covid-19 crisis by the EU Member states.
After the Board of Regulators vote on the joint statement, the BEREC Chair Dan Sjöblom emphasized “We are currently not seeing any major congestion problems and network operators seem to be coping well with the higher traffic load in the networks. But we nevertheless need to stay vigilant and be ready for if the situation changes. This is an extreme and unprecedented situation we are witnessing and we have seen over the past couple of days just how quickly things can change.”
To ensure regular monitoring of the internet traffic situation in each Member State the European Commission and BEREC, with the support of National Regulatory Authorities or competent authorities, are setting up a reporting mechanism, through which to ensure a follow-up on the evolution of traffic and user experience.
“BEREC is in the process of establishing a special reporting mechanism and we will clarify how this will work in further communication. We expect this work to be ready soon, as we are not looking to build a completely new monitoring structure, but rather strengthening already existing mechanism for information sharing among National Regulatory Authorities,” said the BEREC Chair.
BEREC and the Commission invite operators to inform National Regulatory Authorities or competent authorities on the measures taken to ensure the necessary transparency for individuals and businesses. The timely received information will enable efficient and effective performance of the monitoring tasks.