FSFE launches the Router Freedom Activity Package
In the context of reform of telecommunication laws, EU member states are currently implementing legislation with direct impact on Router Freedom. The FSFE has launched an activity package for organisations and individuals to raise awareness and empower them to advocate for users' device sovereignty in their countries.
Router Freedom is the right that consumers of any Internet Service Provider (ISP) have to choose and use a private modem and router instead of equipment that the ISP provides. Since 2013, the Free Software Foundation Europe has been successfully engaged with Router Freedom, promoting end-users' freedom to choose and use their own terminal equipment - first in Germany as a precedent, and now in many European countries.
In the context of reform of telecommunications law, a new set of rules has been adopted by the European Union which will directly impact Router Freedom in the 27 EU member states. The FSFE has been following closely the developments and actively taken part in consultation initiatives on the European level and also in legislative processes in countries which are ahead in adopting such rules, like Austria, Germany and Greece.
Although the new rules will provide more clarity in several respects concerning end-users' rights, the awareness of Router Freedom is low across Europe. Active participation of local communities in the legislative processes of laws impacting the ability of end-users to choose their network devices is crucial for leveraging the protection of Router Freedom in national jurisdictions.
Therefore, the FSFE has prepared an activity package for individuals and organisations who want to communicate with regulators and decision makers of their countries and take a stand for Router Freedom. The package consists of an activity summary, a monitoring map, an end-user experience survey and a wiki page with relevant information for local engagement.
The Protecting Router Freedom in Europe - Activity Summary (.pdf) aims to provide everyone the necessary information to raise awareness of the urgency of protecting Router Freedom. It contains the positive arguments in favour of Router Freedom based on the FSFE's years of successful experience. The summary also presents an overview of the current state of affairs in Europe and how people can participate and collaborate in their countries to improve their situation with Router Freedom.
The FSFE has been monitoring the rules regarding Router Freedom in Europe. The map below tracks how EU member states are implementing the identification of the Network Termination Point (NTP), a technical definition which determines the limits of ISPs' and end-users' networks. You can obtain information by clicking on each country icon. The tracker will be updated regularly.
Router Freedom Survey
Regulators have been extremely conservative in reporting the problems and issues consumers are facing with ISPs' abusive commercial practices against consumers' rights. We want to better understand end-users' experience in Europe with our Router Freedom survey. Every opinion counts - it will take only a few minutes.
The Router Freedom wiki page contains the necessary information for people to get active in communicating with national regulators, consumer organisations and political representatives. It is also an excellent point for first contact with the concept of Router Freedom.
The Future of Router Freedom in Europe
Long-term engagement is only enabled by your help. You can make a difference by joining us spreading the word, sharing your experience, contacting the authorities of your country and becoming a sustaining supporter of the FSFE.
"Like most charity organisations, our resources are limited. While we achieved Router Freedom in Germany as a precedent, and currently actively engage in the legislative processes in Greece and Austria, we cannot do so in all 27 EU member states. That is why we need your help and your experience with national legislation and the local media landscape. Such an ambitious goal - establishing Router Freedom all over Europe - requires collaboration of many people!", says Lucas Lasota, FSFE Project Manager.