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7 things you should know about the new Regulation on the portability of online content services

 

Thanks to the new European Regulation on the cross-border portability of online contents, all customers subscribed to an audiovisual online payment content service, such as the Movistar + app, Netflix, Sky TV, Spotify music, games or e-books will be able to access them when they travel to another EU country. Besides, they will be able to do it under the same conditions as in their country of residence and without assuming any additional cost.

Therefore, all content accessible through the Movistar + app or devices that have been contracted by the customer in Spain, may be viewed by the customer when he is temporarily in another EU country for work, study or vacations. We refer both to content on demand (movies, series...) and to the live broadcasts.

 

 

1. From what devices can I access?

The access to the contents in roaming may be done through the same devices (laptops, tablets and mobile phones) and with the same functionalities that have been contracted in the country of residence.

It is important to highlight that the national offer varies depending on whether the content is viewed from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. In any case, and independently of the contracted modality, the Movistar + client will be able to enjoy up to 56 live linear channels.

 

2. Which countries does it affect?

In particular, all the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) which are: Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Romania, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.

 

3. What are the conditions?

  • These are online content services and, therefore, portable. The obligation to provide this service affects only to those contents that are offered online in exchange for an economic consideration. Free services are excluded unless they choose to provide the service under the opt-in regime. In case of deciding voluntarily to provide the service, they would be subject to all the provisions of the regulation.
  • Services have been contracted in the member's residence state of the service subscriber.
  • The service can be used by the costumer when he is in another member state temporarily.

 

4. What is considered "temporary?

The Regulation defines "temporality" as the presence of the subscriber of the service in a different member state from the country of residence for a limited period of time. It addresses the temporary presence when it comes to traveling for pleasure, for work reasons or for learning reasons. However, the Regulation doesn’t give a definition of what it means by temporality. Although the Regulation doesn’t establish any limit to the use of portability, providers must inform their customers of their portability conditions.

 

5. Is it going to cost anything?

The company will not be able to apply additional surcharges to the costumer for using this service in mobility. This means that the user will be able to use the data package that he has contracted in the country where he/she is based to see the content without an additional cost.

 

6. What does Telefónica think about it?

Telefónica makes a positive assessment of the Regulation as another service that consumers have when they move temporarily within the European Union. This portability of content breaks the barrier that was established, since the Internet doesn’t understand of borders. From now on, the user will be able to choose where to watch the service and take more advantage of the possibilities offered by the Internet.

However, given that it is a very novel service, we will have to wait to see the fraud problems that may arise and give them an adequate solution for the company and for the owners of the contents.

 

7. What is the Digital Single Market?

The Regulation on the portability of online content in an initiative aimed at achieving the creation of the Digital Single Market. Europeans often face obstacles when using online tools and services. In an operational Digital Single Market, there will be fewer barriers and more opportunities: electronic borders will be eliminated and people and businesses will be able to trade and innovate freely, legally, safely and affordably, which, in turn, will make life easier for them.

 

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Lourdes Tejedor / @madrid2day

Telefónica Public Policy & Telefónica España Regulatory teams