Threading the needle from ‘interoperability’ to ‘gatekeeping’: quest for a layered model
Unver, Mehmet Bilal
‘Interoperability’ means the ability for two different and independent information and communication technology (ICT) systems to exchange information and use that information. Whether or to what extent ICT interoperability needs to be regulated vis-a-vis the new technological challenges, poses a compelling question for the law and policy makers. Given this overarching question, this study first attempts to evaluate the issue from a multidisciplinary legal viewpoint and secondly examines the architectural settings of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). It is concluded that a layered regulatory model can respond to the ICT interdependent layers, as peculiarities of both the cloud and the IoT architectures are allencompassed by such a model. It is also considered that a bottom-up, ex-ante and holistic approach developed under the layered regulatory model could address wide-ranging gatekeeping activities, responding not only competition concerns but also techno-social concerns, which constitute the main thread of ICT interoperability and accompanying problems. Finally, it is proposed this model can be transposed into the EU law, and to that end, it is suggested that the model replace the core measures of the electronic communications regulatory framework, along with a set of principles i.e. transparency, fairness, accountability and corresponding remedies.