The European Union will Conduct a Consultation on making Big Tech Pay for Telco Network Costs
The European Union will start talks next year on whether the tech giants should bear some of the cost of European telecoms networks
Paris / Brussels: European Union industry chief Thierry Breton said on Friday the bloc’s executive body would start negotiations early next year over whether the tech giants should bear some of the cost of Europe’s telecommunications network.
Telecom operators in Europe have long lobbied for financial contributions from US tech companies such as Alphabet’s Google, Meta Facebook, and Netflix, saying they use a large part of their internet traffic.
We also need to check whether the regulation applies to ‘GAFAs’ (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), such as the use of bandwidth (provided by carriers), Breton told reporters in French.
GAFA is the French acronym for the largest American technology companies, including Netflix.
This particular issue, or the so-called potential “fair share” of US technology companies in financing European telecommunications and Internet infrastructure, will be part of a broader consultation that includes shared virtual reality in Europe’s global environment, Britton said. People can access the Internet.
More than half of global web traffic comes from six companies: Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, telecom operator ETNO’s European lobby group said in a report in May.
The companies argue that making any new financial contribution would challenge “network neutrality,” the principle that ISPs should be allowed access to all content and applications, regardless of their source.
ISPs say companies have a conflict of interest by offering competing services like voice and television and using their networks as free runners.
Britton said consultations would start in the first quarter of 2023 and would take five to six months. He said the European Commission’s proposal would follow.
Nine European Parliament lawmakers have drafted a letter to be sent to Commission Chair Ursula von der Leyen, Brittany, and European Union Digital Director Margrethe Vestager, urging them to ensure online companies operating in the infrastructure that generates the most traffic should contribute to the cost in a fair manner. and proportionate.
Lawmakers including Andreas Schwab, Stephanie Yoon Curtin, and Paul Tang also said the new measures must be in line with the principles of the Open Internet Regulation, a reference to European Union net neutrality rules that ensure Internet service providers (ISPs) cannot block or restrict them. Traffic to prioritize certain services.
“This fairer contribution should not discriminate against specific companies, but rather reflect the role and influence of those companies that generate the most traffic in the network,” they said in the letter, seen by Reuters.
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