Data Traffic Exchange: IP Interconnect – to regulate or not to regulate?


Technological developments in telecoms networks should remove the need for any additional regulation of interconnect regimes. This is one of the key findings of this CERRE report, which examines the revision of traffic exchange regulation under the European Commission’s proposed Electronic Communications Code.

Authored by Tony Shortall and Professor Martin Cave, the report considers the risks and opportunities of Europe’s approach to interconnect to date, and what might now evolve from the current proposals.

The report makes a number of conclusions in examining proposals within the Code, including:

  • That while demand may emerge for services that require different Quality of Service (QoS) beyond local networks in the future, technological solutions are emerging to address these issues and no specific intervention is warranted at this time to cater for variable QoS requirements;
  • That with voice interconnect largely based on termination rates and data interconnect based on the transit/peering model, this separation may impose additional costs and can imperil innovation;
  • As software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) technologies evolve, interconnect itself may not in future be the gateway point that policy makers should focus on with implications for the operation of Network Neutrality.
Tony Shortall, Professor Martin Cave