Swisscom, Sunrise, upc cablecom, Orange and the cable network companies’ association Swisscable have formulated a code of conduct on net neutrality. Standing up together for an open Internet, they are also establishing an ombudsman’s office which will engage independent experts.
The five co-signatories to the code of conduct are working to keep the Internet in Switzerland open, with all users able to use the content, services, applications, hardware and software of their choice. No services or applications will be blocked. Freedom of information and the free expression of opinion will not be restricted.
The code states that network management for the purpose of ensuring quality and provision of services tailored to end users may continue, for example when official rulings have to be put into effect, harmful activity blocked or capacity bottlenecks bypassed. In addition, time-critical services may be prioritised, if customers so wish. This includes, for example, IP telephony, television, emergency calls, video conferencing and future telemedicine applications, in which data have to reach customers as quickly as possible.
Where it is suspected that a service provider is in breach of the code of conduct, users will in future be able to call on an ombudsman’s office, which will draw on the expertise of independent consultants in examining the case and mediating between users and service providers. It will inform the public about its work on an annual basis.