The offices of three major carriers in Europe have been raided by European Union officials as part of an investigation into the practice of bandwidth throttling. The headquarters of Orange
, Deutsche Telekom
, and Telefonica
all received visits from the government officials, trying to find evidence that the three are restricting the bandwidth for companies specifically requiring such high levels.
The raids come after complaints by Cogent Communications, writes Bloomberg
, claiming European carriers and telecommunications companies are not allowing sufficient capacities for their subscribers to use the services, with CEO David Schaeffer suggesting current connections as not "large or streamlined enough" to provide an adequate service. A questionnaire was filled out by Cogent for the European Commission (EC) for its investigation, but Schaeffer does not know if the answers provided caused the raids to take place, though he has suggested that local companies received too much protection by regional governments in complaints to German and French competition regulators.
Starting from July 9th, a statement from the EC mentioned that there was an antitrust investigation into a "number of telecommunications companies active in the provision of Internet connectivity," though stopped short of saying what companies were being investigated.
Deutsche Telekom said that the investigation relates to "the potential abuse of an alleged dominant market position" for Internet backbone connections, and denied that it took part in such actions. Officials are still investigating a number of offices owned by Orange, while Telefonica states it is "closely cooperating" with investigators.
Such connection issues and complaints are nothing new to the continent. In January, Orange forced Google to pay compensation
for its massive data usage on its network, which takes up roughly 50 percent of all its traffic. Deutsche Telekom has also previously suggested
that larger Internet services should pay for a higher-quality mobile data.