Should big digital players like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google or even Netflix compensate European operators? This is a debate that has been going on for quite some time. And for its part, the European Union is also looking into the matter.
In a recent article, Reuters indicated that the European Commission will start a consultation as early as 2023 on whether digital giants will contribute to the costs of telecommunications networks in Europe. According to the media, this was announced by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton.
“A handful of players alone occupy more than 50% of the world’s bandwidth. Now is the time to restructure fair remuneration of networks. After DSA and DMA, this is now one of the flagship projects in our digital space.”he said on Twitter in May.
The project also has the support of competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who believes that the players “Generates significant internet traffic that feeds their business” Without participating in the investment to enable this connection. And of course, European operators also support the idea.
A debate by Interposed Lobby
In a post published in May, ETNO, an organization that brings together European operators, explained in a blog post that to achieve its 2030 goals in terms of connectivity (5G and fiber for all), the EU must accelerate the deployment of new infrastructure. and ensuring that operators have sufficient financial resources.
“In this context, the European Commission has already established several funding programs and policies to support connectivity. In addition, the commission is currently working on possible solutions that address the “fair and proportionate contribution” of technology companies to infrastructure.Association explained. “This is underlined in the recent statement of “European Digital Rights and Principles” and Executive Vice-President Vestager and Commissioner Breton. Solutions in this field must respect the EU Open Internet principles. »
For the moment, it is not known what kind of regulations may be adopted. But it’s possible we could have the equivalent of “neighboring rights” that would force tech giants to negotiate with operators.
But of course, the idea, to contribute to the infrastructure costs of the tech giants, does not please them. Thus, the CCIA, an organization that brings together technology players, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even Samsung, has already spoken about this.
Christian Borggreen, vice president of CCIA Europe, explained that the scheme will double the payments to customers.
“Let’s be clear, Telecom basically wants users in Europe to pay double. For direct internet access, as they do today. And indirectly, making online services like Netflix subscriptions or cloud usage more expensive”He recently said at a conference.
“Let’s be clear, #Telcos Basically users in Europe want to pay double. for direct #Internet access, as they already do today. and indirectly creates #online Services, such as your Netflix subscription or cloud usage, are more expensive” pressure @Borggreen did #WIK conference. pic.twitter.com/1sJJhqMcFN
— CCIA Europe (@CCIAEurope) September 7, 2022
The debate should also take into account the principles of net neutrality.