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Online session: The future of Router Freedom in Austria

on:

Austria has introduced a reform law for the telecommunications sector which will affect the ability of consumers to choose and use their own routers and modems. Together with the Alliance of Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (VTKE) the FSFE is organising a session on "The Future of Router Freedom in Austria".

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Alliance of Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (VTKE) are organising an online session about the future of Router Freedom in Austria. In this session, you will have the opportunity to learn more about why Router Freedom is fundamental not only for consumer rights but also for a functional and competitive router and modem market.

The event will be moderated by Barbara Steinbrenner, a tech journalist in Austria, and is open for all to attend free of charge. The event language will be German. You can check the agenda with details of all panelists (German) here.

Online event in Austria, picture information in German. 4. Mai, 09:30-11:00 MESZ. Diskutantinnen: Barbara Steinbrenner, Redakteurin, Die Presse, Dr. Natalie Ségur-Cabanac, Head of Regulatory and Data Protection Officer, Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH, Mag. Christian Drobits, Abgeordneter zum Nationalrat (SPÖ), Bereichssprecher für Datenschutz und Konsumentenschutz, Kira Terstappen-Richter, MSc, Koordinatorin, Verbund der Telekommunikations-Endgerätehersteller (VTKE), Max Mehl, Programmmanager, Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)

We encourage you to register your attendance as it will help us getting an overview of our audience and keeping in touch with you for the next activities regarding Router Freedom.

Router Freedom in Austria

In October 2021, the Austrian Parliament passed the reform of the Telecommunications Act (TKG 2021) with provisions affecting the ability of consumers to use their own device to connect to the Internet. With the new law, the Austrian regulatory agency (RTR) can decide on the location of the Network Termination Point (NTP), a technical definition of the point that determines the boundary between the Internet Service Providers' (ISPs') public network and consumers' private network. Depending on the position of the NTP adopted, either ISPs will continue to be allowed to impose their own routers/modems on customers or internet users will be able to choose their preferred router/modem for broadband connection.

The three possible positions of the NTP according to BEREC
Setting the network termination point at A allows end-users to deploy their own modem/router. Picture source: BEREC

The FSFE urged the Austrian government to include Router Freedom in the reform. Consumers' IT security, privacy, and freedom of choice cannot be traded off in favour of ISPs' commercial practices. Besides, Router Freedom is important for market competition, device innovation, and sustainability. It is now up to the Austrian regulatory agency to seize the opportunity to establish Router Freedom in Austria. Defining the NTP at point A will safeguard consumer rights.

The Router Freedom initiative

Router Freedom is the right that consumers of any ISP have to be able 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 in many European countries. Join us and learn more about the several ways to get involved. Please consider becoming a FSFE donor; you help make possible our long-term engagement and professional commitment in defending people's rights to control technology.