The offences occurred during last year’s investigation into the operator’s Traffic Management practices on their 3G and 4G network.
The EU’s Net Neutrality rules are currently applied using a self-regulatory approach in the UK via the 2016 Open Internet Code. This requires providers to treat all internet traffic equally without discrimination, restriction or interference. Essentially the code means that broadband ISPs and mobile operators cannot impose excessive restrictions against legal internet traffic, albeit with some caveats.
The telecoms regulator raised several concerns with O2 last year, which resulted in the operator supplying signed assurances and committing to a number of key changes by 30th April 2019. But Ofcom challenged O2 over its initial February 2018 response to a related information request about its Traffic Management practices.
Today the regulator has ruled that O2 “contravened the requirements of a statutory information request by failing to provide accurate and complete answers to our questions. Given the importance and reliance that we place on the information requested under our statutory powers, we consider that an incomplete and inaccurate response is a serious matter. For the reasons set out in the Confirmation Decision, we have found O2 in breach of its obligations and imposed a penalty of £75,000 in respect of this contravention”.