Joint European statement on fulfilling the increased demand for network connectivity

Published: 19 March 2020

The European Commission and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) issued a joint statement today on coping with the increased demand for network connectivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, calling on operators to closely cooperate with national regulatory authorities.

The European Commission and BEREC—of which the National Media and Infocommunications Authority is also a member—are committed to contribute to the collective effort to support individuals and businesses to continue their activities and contacts through the Internet during these unprecedented times. As measures to limit physical interactions entailed increased volumes of online teaching and teleworking, the demand for Internet capacity has increased.

According to the joint statement, the significant increase in Internet traffic indicated by European operators has not led to a network congestion so far. Anticipating possible capacity issues, the Commission and BEREC join their efforts to find the best solutions. Both the Commission and BEREC remain fully committed to enforce the Open Internet Access provisions of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 in the EU. The Regulation prohibits operators from slowing down, blocking or prioritising traffic, however, temporary traffic management measures are authorised to prevent impending network congestion and mitigate the effects of exceptional or temporary network congestion, provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally.

The changed circumstances caused by the Covid-19 crisis can lead to situations where operators implement certain traffic management measures to ensure the proper functioning of the networks, but only for as long as necessary.

The European Commission and BEREC urge operators to closely cooperate with national regulatory authorities and inform them on their planned measures and calls on content and application providers to cooperate with telecom providers.

The European Commission and BEREC welcome the civic responsibility of all individuals and economic operators in these difficult times, and to support these efforts—with assistance from national regulatory authorities—they are setting up a special reporting mechanism to ensure regular monitoring of the Internet traffic situation in each Member State to be able to respond swiftly to any capacity issues.

NMHH is continuously monitoring the domestic situation and is now working with the operators to ensure that domestic users continue to have access to communications services in the proper quality. In the light of experience over the last few days, the domestic communications networks are able to meet even the increased needs.

The English version of the joint statement is available here:

A link to the press release of BEREC:

What is BEREC?

BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications) is an international regulatory body consisting of the leaders of the national regulatory authorities of the 28 European states, including the National Media and Infocommunications Authority. Monika Karas, the President of the NMHH is a Vice-Chair at the Body this year. BEREC offers advice to the European Commission and the national regulatory authorities consisting of BEREC members, and also assists the European Parliament and the European Council in issues related to the application of the EU’s regulatory framework of electronic communications. The mission of BEREC is to guarantee fair competition and standardized regulation on the internal electronic communications market in the interests of European consumers.