Deutsche Telekom has to change its stream-on tariffs after a court decision or remove them from the market. The offer violates the net neutrality, because the traffic is not treated as prescribed equal, communicated the higher administrative court (Aktzenzeichen 13 B 1734/18). In the so-called fast-track case, the court upheld the Federal Network Agency, which had ordered a change in the bid.
Stream-On is an add-on offer for telecom mobile customers that allows them to stream music and video from selected partners and play games without this usage being credited against the amount of data agreed in the contract. The partners include the providers Netflix, YouTube and Spotify, as well as the media libraries of some TV channels. However, the Telekom throttles the transmission rate in certain tariffs, so that one can watch contents only in a low resolution (SD) on the way. In addition, the use is intended only within Germany, when used abroad, the amount of data is credited to the booked data volume.
The Federal Network Agency therefore prohibited Telekom from making the offer available in this form at the end of 2017. She referred to the European Union's principle of net neutrality and the European rules on roaming, which prohibit additional remuneration for services abroad. The Telekom went against it by emergency application before, failed however in November 2018 before the administrative court Cologne. Now, the higher administrative court rejected the Telekom complaint.
As in the case of the first instance, the Higher Administrative Court also referred to the requirement of net neutrality, according to which providers of Internet access services must treat the traffic equally for all users. The court sees the Stream-On not fully given. In addition, the judges confirmed the view that the restrictions in other EU countries violate the roaming rules.
The court order is uncontestable. A spokesman for the network agency announced that they wanted to quickly implement the adaptation of the offer at Telekom.