UK heavyweights call for net neutrality overhaul - Mobile World Live

UK heavyweights call for net neutrality overhaul

21 SEP 2021

LIVE FROM CONNECTED BRITAIN 2021, LONDON: Vodafone UK and BT Group welcomed a recently-launched net neutrality review in the UK, with the latter’s CTO Howard Watson (pictured, centre) hitting out at the current environment, which he argued favoured technology giants and was foe to the mobile industry.

Both operators confirmed they would submit views to an Ofcom review of UK net neutrality rules post Brexit, which launched earlier this month, and Watson followed up on comments made by BT Group consumer CEO Marc Allera who called for rules around the area to be eased earlier this year.

During a panel discussion, Watson noted around “70 per cent, if not more of traffic we deliver to our customers is consumed through three providers”.

“Over the last ten years, they’ve taken about a third of the share of the wallet out of our industry, and I just think net neutrality has been their friend and our foe during that period. I think it is critically important that we have that conversation again, especially here in Europe.”

Vodafone UK CEO Ahmed Essam (pictured, left of centre) echoed Watson’s views, stating he “really welcomed” the review to potentially revise net neutrality, pointing out when the current rules were drafted “it wasn’t done with 5G use cases in mind and it limits the use of the technology”.

Virgin Media O2 CEO Lutz Schuler (pictured, far left) also welcomed the review, but emphasised the importance for providers to use their network assets to build their own platforms to provide added value beyond connectivity.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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