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Reporting policies of ISPs: Do general terms and conditions (GTCs) match with the reality?


  • Grove, Nico
  • Agic, Damir
  • Sedlmeir, Joachim


Technological progress allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to carry out network manage-ment practices in a discriminatory fashion without being detected by their customers. This creates an opportunity that providers will exploit this information asymmetry in an opportunistic way by blocking and/or throttling certain services and applications without informing their customers in an adequate fashion that their Internet service is a restricted one. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the extent to which reporting policies - as im-plemented through the General Terms and Conditions (GTCs) - of selected ISPs match with the display of discriminatory behavior by those ISPs as shown by Grove & Agic, (2012). Our analysis examines whether ISPs in Europe and the USA are informing their subscribers adequately about discriminatory traffic management. We, thus, analyze GTCs, signed between ISPs and their subscribers by applying a cross-country/provider approach, focusing on three main aspects of the contractual agreement: (1) availability of service, (2) obligations of the customers and (3) the contractual agreements concerning any intervention in services by ISPs...

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  • Grove, Nico & Agic, Damir & Sedlmeir, Joachim, 2013. "Reporting policies of ISPs: Do general terms and conditions (GTCs) match with the reality?," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88473, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse13:88473

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barbara van Schewick, 2010. "Internet Architecture and Innovation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013975, January.
    2. Crocioni, Pietro, 2011. "Net Neutrality in Europe: Desperately seeking a market failure," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-11, February.
    3. Mueller, Milton L. & Asghari, Hadi, 2012. "Deep packet inspection and bandwidth management: Battles over BitTorrent in Canada and the United States," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 462-475.
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    More about this item


    Network Neutrality; General Terms and Conditions; Regulation; Telecommunications; User Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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