Netnod responds to PTS proposals on the implementation of the European Code of Electronic Communications directive

On 2 March 2022, Netnod was given the opportunity by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) to comment on six new proposals regarding the Swedish implementation of the European Code of Electronic Communications. Netnod has responded to three of the six proposals (22-1480_22-1477, 22-1342, and 20-3324)

Netnod sees some advantages to the proposed and slightly altered regulation with regards to electronic communications. However,  Netnod believes that approach is fundamentally suboptimal and greater effort should have been put towards designing a legislative framework for the digital communications required for a digitised Sweden and Europe. 

In particular the terminology used with interpersonal communications services quickly muddies the water and disregards the designs and inner workings of modern digital infrastructures. At worst, the legislation is harmful; at best, actors will break the law. 

Netnod believes that the legal framework concerning electronic communications should concern network and communications architectures, and should not treat the networks from the perspective of consumer services. Consumer protection regulations already cover consumer services in enough detail for electronic communications.

Netnod believes that the current approach is wrong, and that the legal framework should, instead, focus on supporting public and private actors in providing robust and resilient digital communications networks that enable innovation at all levels.

The proposed legislation is not worse than existing legislation, but it still fundamentally hampers innovation at the edge of the network as it only treats the Internet as an “access service”. It would have been better to treat it as the fundamental service required for communication in all sectors and for society as a whole.

Furthermore, Netnod considers that the EU, and Sweden, should adopt Internet-strategies, not broadband strategies. We need a strategy for communication across all of society, a communication architecture for all sectors, and not only a policy for the undefined consumer product sometimes called broadband.