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Draft BEREC Guidelines detailing Quality of Service Parameters
BEREC Public Consultation on draft BEREC Guidelines Detailing Quality of Service Parameters
17 days left (ends 05 Dec)
During its 40th plenary meeting (3-4 October 2019, Crete) the Board of Regulators approved the draft BEREC Guidelines Detailing Quality of Service Parameters for public consultation.
In accordance with Article 104 of the European Electronic Communications Code NRAs shall take utmost account of these Guidelines when specifying quality of service parameters to be measured, the applicable measurement methods and the content, form and manner of the information to be published. By 21 June 2020 BEREC shall adopt the above mentioned Guidelines.
The public consultation is open from Thursday, 10 October 2019 , 14:00 to Thursday, 5 December 2019, 17:00 CET.
Please go to the Discussion and give your opinion.
The consultation document is available for download - please see below.
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Draft BEREC Guidelines detailing Quality of Service Parameters
According to Article 4 of the BEREC Regulation, BEREC shall issue guidelines on the implementation of the European Union regulatory framework for electronic communications, as referred to in Directive (EU) 2018/1972 (hereinafter referred to as “the EECC”), on, among other things, relevant quality of service (‘QoS’) parameters which National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), in coordination with other competent authorities, should take utmost account of. Annex 1 to the Guidelines sets out the wording of Article 104 and Annex X of the EECC as well as the related EECC recitals. For the avoidance of doubt, definitions as set out in Article 2 EECC shall be used in this document unless otherwise stated (see Annex 2 to the Guidelines).
In accordance with Article 104(2) of the EECC, the reason for issuing the present guidelines (hereinafter also referred to as “the Guidelines”) is to provide guidance to NRAs in respect to Article 104 of the EECC and to contribute to the consistent application of Article 104(2) and Annex X, with the aim of defining:
Annex 3 to the Guidelines sets out the input received from NRAs in respect to any specified QoS parameters, measurement methods, and the content, form and manner of the information published, under the relevant provisions of Article 22 of the Universal Service Directive (2002/22/EC). Annex 4 to the Guidelines sets out other benchmarking undertaken in respect to QoS indicators across member states.
Article 104 of the EECC contains a specific reference to Regulation (EU) 2015/2120: “the measures to ensure quality of service shall comply with Regulation (EU) 2015/2120”. As a consequence, a close interdependency between the Open Internet and End-Users Working Groups has been acknowledged and, in order to ensure the consistency of BEREC’s documents, the Guidelines do not focus on defining IAS QoS parameters related to the network performance and measurement methods that are analysed within the Open Internet Working Group (OI WG) – and in that context make an explicit reference to several relevant BEREC reports including BoR (14) 117,, Monitoring quality of IAS in the context of net neutrality BEREC report; BoR (17) 178, BEREC Net Neutrality Regulatory Assessment Methodology; BoR (17) 179, Net neutrality measurement tool specification and BoR (18) 32 Annex 1. NRAs should take account of and consider guidance on IAS QoS indicators and related definitions, methodologiesdeveloped by BEREC OI WG.
In addition there are other QoS related and relevant ongoing BEREC work streams which are currently being developed by the following BEREC WGs – Statistics and Indicators WG, OI WG and Roaming WG. The output from these BEREC work streams should be considered and taken utmost account of by NRAs and by other competent authorities when defining the IAS QoS parameters and their measurement methods.
In accordance with Article 104 of the EECC, the Guidelines shall be issued by 21 June 2020, after consulting stakeholders and in close cooperation with the Commission.
In the ever-connected, globalized, digital environment that is developing faster and faster electronic communication services play a key role in citizens’ everyday activities. As set out in the QoS regulation manual ITU 2017 pgs. 5 & 110 – ‘The profusion of ever-evolving technologies, networks, services and devices with different QoS capabilities further adds to the complexity of regulation in this area. Quality can be impacted by many factors at the network level and along the value chain. In this regard, a common approach to regulating QoS can enable greater quality prospects irrespective of the locations of the consumer and service provider’. Indeed, the correlation between quality and pricing of services suggests: ‘If the demand for services that require high QoS is very low (compared to demand for services not requiring QoS), then the willingness to pay for high QoS will be also very low. In such a case, telecommunication operators (which are in fact the ISPs nowadays) will have lower interest in QoS. When the demand for services that require high QoS is comparable with demand for services not requiring QoS, then the willingness to pay for QoS is higher’.
The QoS, as perceived by the end-user, is a crucial factor for both customers and service providers and, with the profusion of ever evolving technologies, networks and services with different levels of QoS, it is becoming increasingly more complex to manage, measure and regulate QoS. Indeed, quality can be impacted by many factors at the network level and along the value chain, including the device, hardware, infrastructure, service and applications.
Regulatory development in the European electronic communications sector is intended to help improve the end-user experience, to lead to greater competition and investment, and to benefit all the different players in the digital ecosystem. This development has resulted in the EECC and BEREC has undertaken a complex work aimed, inter alia, at achieving one of the very clear objectives of the EECC, i.e., empowering and protecting end-users.
The European harmonisation of QoS parameters and data collection and publication practices would result in substantive benefits, such as enabling comparability among Member States and providing better information on the European electronic communications market, while at the same time promoting the consistent application of regulatory obligations and improving transparency for end-users and public authorities in relation to quality of service.
The rationale for issuing Guidelines detailing QoS parameters is, therefore, to contribute to a consistent and harmonised application of the provisions of the EECC, in particular with respect to Article 104 that is broadly a continuation of Article 22 of the Universal Service Directive (2002/22/EC), on the publication of information for end-users on the QoS.