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ANCOM clarifies requirements on contract provisions regarding the internet access speed and the speed measurement procedure

04.11.2019

For clarifying how providers should specify the internet access speeds they offer and the speed measurement procedure in the contracts concluded with the users, ANCOM has prepared and published a Guidebook on the implementation of the requirements regarding the inclusion in the contracts of information on the speeds of access to the Internet ensured through fixed and mobile networks (available in Romanian). "We encourage the users to permanently monitor the performance of their fixed and mobile Internet services through the Netograf application, an independent tool created by ANCOM. If an important quality gap is thus revealed - on a permanent or on a regular basis - between the actual service performance and the one provided in the contract, the users can benefit from remedies, according to the contract provisions.”, declared Sorin Grindeanu, the president of ANCOM.
By this Guidebook, ANCOM offers to the providers instructions for detailing the speeds and the procedure of measuring them in the contracts with the users. ANCOM’s Guidebook also details the requirements that a user must meet in order to file a valid complaint and to be able to claim remedies and provides for the operators to mention all the remedies they can offer to users.
Current legal requirements for providers
For ensuring the transparency of information regarding the quality of the service offered, according to ANCOM Decision no. 1112/2017, the providers of Internet access services have the obligation to specify in contracts the values ​​of the following technical quality indicators:
·            for the fixed Internet access service - the minimum speed guaranteed, the commonly available speed, the best effort speed and the advertised speed (the one the provider uses in its commercial messages);
·            for the mobile Internet access service - the estimated best effort speed and the advertised transfer speed.
Furthermore, in order to ensure the possibility of assessing the quality of the service provided, speed-related information, which the Internet service providers must include in contracts, should be accompanied by more details, including the procedure that the users can follow to measure the actual performance of the Internet access service.
ANCOM’s Guidebook brings further recommendations for providers
ANCOM’s Guidebook offers clarifications and best practice examples regarding the implementation of the legal requirements on the inclusion of contract provisions on the Internet access speeds ensured through fixed and mobile networks, such as:
·        the way in which speed values ​​must be expressed;
·        the factors that can influence the achievement of a certain speed, so that the users understand the aspects that can affect measurement results;
·        the recommended conditions for carrying out measurements, in order to obtain the internet access speeds in the contract, e.g. conditions regarding the terminal from which the measurements are made;
·        aspects to be included in the speed measurement procedure by which an important quality gap may be assessed - on a permanent or on a regular basis - between the actual service performance and the one provided in the contract, e.g. the number of days in a row during which the measurements must be made, the number of measurements to be made per day and the respective time intervals;
·        how a user can file a complaint regarding the non-observance of the contractual clauses, in order to benefit from remedies.
The Guidebook on the implementation of the requirements regarding the inclusion in the contracts of the information regarding the speeds of access to the Internet ensured through fixed and mobile networks is available, in Romanian, here.
Netograf-related obligations
In the contracts concluded with the users, the providers must refer to Netograf, the online platform with which the users can verify the actual performance of the Internet access service. The Netograf platform includes a series of applications (a web app, applications for fixed terminals for Windows and MAC OS and applications for mobile terminals for Android and iOS) designed to provide the users with the ability to measure and assess the technical quality parameters for the Internet access service offered through both fixed and mobile networks.
Based on the measurements carried out on Netograf, ANCOM publishes an annual Report on the quality of the Internet access service, the latest one being available, in Romanian, here.