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Key stakeholders debated the future of Router Freedom in Austria

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Together with the Alliance of Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (VTKE), the FSFE organised the online event "The Future of Router Freedom in Austria" where decision makers could debate with industry and civil society stakeholders on the future developments regarding the free choice of terminal equipment in Austria.

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Alliance of Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (VTKE) organised an online session about the future of Router Freedom in Austria. In this session, key stakeholders had the opportunity to debate and raise arguments supporting free choice of terminal equipment for internet connection.

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)

The event occurred in the context of the introduction of the reform for telecommunications law in Austria, where the national regulator RTR is tasked with the regulatory framework for defining the boundaries between the internet service providers' networks and home networks of end-users. In this process, the new rules have the potential to negatively affect end-users' freedom to choose and use private routers and modems. Depending on the regulatory position 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 panelists, therefore, had the opportunity to point out why Router Freedom is fundamental not only for consumer rights but also for a functional and competitive router and modem market.

The journalist Barbara Steinbrenner moderated the panel and it consisted of decision makers, industry representatives and civil society stakeholders. The panelists were: Dr. Natalie Ségur-Cabanac, Head of Regulatory and Data Protection Officer, Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH; Mag. Christian Drobits, Parliament Member (SPÖ) and spokesperson for Data Privacy and Consumer Protection; Kira Terstappen-Richter, MSc, VTKE Coordinator and Max Mehl, FSFE Programme Manager. You can check the recording of the debate below (video in German).

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.