+++++++ CAMPAIGN UPDATE - DECEMEMBER 2022 ++++++

Following the call for submissions by the communications regulator, Ofcom, on net neutrality earlier in the year, ClickZero made the case for better rules on zero-rating; one that distinguishes between the customer and the citizen and where online services that offer a public benefit and aren't competing commercially with others can be zero-rated by the ISP or mobile operator.

Ofcom has agreed. You can read details here about the changes and updates they are proposing and their views

In its latest guidance, which could come into effect by Autumn 2023, Ofcom have recognised that online public services should be classified as Type 1:

  • Zero-rating offers can also be used to ensure access to content that provides wider benefits to citizens and consumers. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic the largest mobile providers agreed with Government to provide their customers with zero-rated access to websites supporting victims of crime.133 Such access is beneficial as it ensures victims of crime are not deterred from accessing useful resources if they have limited monthly data allowances. Another example of such beneficial initiatives would be those that aim to provide help and guidance to those likely to experience financial hardship. Zero rating can be particularly beneficial here as low-income consumers are more likely to rely on mobile data for internet access.

  • ‘Type One’ zero-rating offers are those where ISPs zero-rate access to information and services from public sector bodies (e.g., the Government, NHS) that provide a public benefit and are not in competition with other suppliers. This type of offer is beneficial to consumers and is unlikely to have a detrimental impact on other CAPs. Therefore, once we are satisfied that an offer is a Type One zero-rating offer, we are unlikely to consider them any further

+++++++ CAMPAIGN UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2022 ++++++

The Data Poverty APPG releases State of the Nation report on Data Poverty and calls for zero-rating to be one of 9 key recommendations

"Expand the number of zero-rated websites – websites for essential services, including accessing government, NHS and educational services, should be zero-rated. This builds on previous policy proposals made by Jisc for local authorities to provide free internet access to students in public spaces via their eduroam service".