Government research: free modem choice has little effect on network security

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Research commissioned by the government concludes that a free choice of modem has few effects on the functioning and security of networks. The State Secretary for Economic Affairs refers to ACM for a policy rule on the free choice of modem.

If a consumer buys a dsl, ftth or docsis modem himself and it meets the standards used by the internet service provider, there is little reason to expect that the consumer or the provider will experience problems as a result. That is the conclusion of Stratix, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to investigate the consequences of a free choice of modem.

The research bureau finds that the modems of providers themselves are no better or worse protected than the variants that can be bought and that it will in any case ensure that users have an alternative. Stratix does foresee problems with services such as iptv and voip, where free choice of equipment can lead to more complexity and costs, but with TV, for example, the trend is that this is increasingly offered via apps.

State Secretary Keijzer of Economic Affairs, who commissioned the study, reports that telecom providers do not agree with the conclusion and that there is ‘limited support among these parties for the implementation of a free modem choice’. The providers state that central management of the modems is required to guarantee security. Stratix says: “History has shown that manufacturers, ISPs and users alike do not act well in solving problems.”

The State Secretary is reporting a policy rule on the question whether consumers are obliged to use the modems supplied by telecom providers. This is because ACM has meanwhile become authorized to decide on the underlying question of whether a modem belongs to the private network of the users or not. The discussion about the position of a network connection point that separates the private network from the public telecom network has been going on for some time. It is not known when ACM’s decision can be expected. That should have been there last year.

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