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Dutch telecom operator KPN has restored port forwarding for its home subscriptions

18-09-2019

Dutch telecom operator KPN has satisfactorily restored a blocked functionality in one of its home subscriptions. This has been established by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) following discussions with KPN.

It seemed as if KPN blocked a certain functionality of its 4G service for home subscriptions in rural areas, which caused an uproar on social media. Suddenly blocking a functionality of an internet connection may constitute a violation of the net neutrality rules. ACM enforces compliance with these rules, and it had therefore asked KPN questions about this blockade.

The functionality in question, called port forwarding, is sometimes used to access remotely devices in people’s homes, for example, to watch live images of a security camera. Customers noticed that this functionality was no longer working, and subsequently complained about it.

Security update

Based on the answers to ACM’s questions, it appeared that a security update had unintentionally caused the problem. KPN had conducted tests prior to the update, but these had failed to detect the issue. After customers had contacted KPN reporting that port forwarding was no longer working, KPN restored the functionality for all customers that use it. As a result, they are able to use port forwarding again, just like before the update. With these actions, KPN has taken away ACM’s concerns.

Net neutrality

Internet providers in Europe must treat all internet traffic in a non-discriminatory fashion. This means for example: no unnecessary blocking or slowing down. ACM makes sure that internet providers comply with these rules. When consumers file complaints, ACM may decide to launch an investigation. If telecom operators are unsure about how the net neutrality rules apply to new technologies and new services, they may contact ACM.