A Fresh Look at Zero-Rating
The concept of net neutrality has provoked intense debate for over a decade, and the adoption of regulation in both the US and the EU in 2015 did little to resolve this. The Federal Communications Commission overturned US net neutrality regulations in 2017, while the EU’s current rules allow for several exceptions.
Amongst these exceptions, the practice of ‘zero-rating’ is perhaps the most prominent. Its legality is currently being scrutinised in several high-profile cases, by a number of National Regulatory Authorities.
To contribute constructively to this discussion, CERRE has published a new report taking a fresh look at zero-rating. It provides an economic assessment of why zero-rating is offered by internet service providers, and considers whether and how it may harm consumers. The report also provides lessons for regulators on how to look at the different examples of zero-rating and assess which, if any, should be regulated and how that might be done.