Telecommunications between the right to access and the large oligopolies
The open modem is dead, long live the open modem.
The proclamation announcing the death of a king and the enthroning
of a new king is analogous to what is happening in relation to modem
For many years, in Italy, you couldn’t choose which modem to
install in your home, the device was simply included in the various telephone operator plans.
The situation changed on the 1st of January 2019 under Resolution 348/18/CONS, by which the Authority for Communications Guarantees (AGCOM) decreed that users could use any modem they preferred, without being tied to the proprietary ones offered by telephone operators.
The Resolution immediately sparked a dispute between large fixed or fixed and mobile operators, on the one hand, and smaller operators, supported by certain equipment manufacturers and consumer protection
associations, on the other.
The dispute has been fought among the halls of AGCOM, in the judicial settings of the Regional Administrative Court for Lazio and the Council of State, and before the CORECOM Regional Communications Committees, yet has still to come to a conclusion, since the largest of the Italian operators, Telecom Italia, has decided to challenge the sentence of the Regional Administrative Court, which it had partially surrendered
to, once again before the Council of State.
Several large operators have preferred to withdraw their appeals and focus on new offers that take into account the parameters established by AGCOM in Resolution 348/18.
The judicial disputes are dragging on, more than anything else, in contemplation of existing contracts and instalments payable by consumers who had stipulated contracts pending the application of the disputed Resolution.
In any case, the AGCOM Resolution merely assumes the executive role of EU Regulation 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25th
November 2015, which introduced a new set of rules on net neutrality into the European legal system, as signing to national regulatory authorities with new roles in terms of regulations, supervision and enforcement, in order to guarantee the right of users to an open Internet (Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the Regulation).
According to the principle of net neutrality, internet access must be treated in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of the content, application, service, terminal, sender or recipient.
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