Swedish operator Telia criticised a request by regulator the Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) to revoke its zero-rating for social media sites, describing the move as limiting the variety of options available in the market.
Telia was asked to remove the zero-rating status applied to its Free Surf on Social Media offer and Free Surf Listen music service by the PTS in December. The authority voiced its intent to issue formal action against the company if it didn’t comply with the initial request, citing EU regulations on treating all internet traffic equally.
In a statement, Telia said the PTS’ interpretation of EU rules would have a negative impact on the country’s digitisation, and will limit the choices available to customers in the country.
“Telia is convinced that the offers Free Surf Social Media and Listen are within the EU framework and that PTS has too narrow an assessment. The PTS does not take into account the positive impact of the offer on competition and the effect a ban would have on users,” the company stated.
The operator went on to note the PTS’ order to remove its zero-rating status flies in the face of a light-touch approach taken by the regulator in recent years. PTS encouraged operators to provide consumers with relevant information about services and prices, and enable them to easily change suppliers. “This focus has resulted in a customer-driven market and should therefore continue to apply,” Telia stated.
Telia did not confirm whether it intends to comply with the PTS request.