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More Than A Dozen Telco CEOs Call On EU To Make Big Tech Share Network Costs

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By Jonathan Easton

Some 15 European telcos have sent a joint letter to the European Commission, urging the body to make big tech firms shoulder network costs in Europe.

The EU is currently preparing an in-depth consultation into whether big tech players like Google, Netflix and Facebook should contribute towards telecoms network costs, and announced a review earlier this month.

With the EU soon to seek feedback from both sides, CEOs of top telcos have called on big tech to contribute towards the sector’s annual infrastructure costs of around €50 billion across Europe.

Signatories include the CEOs of telcos including Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Vodafone, Bouygues Telekom, KPN, BT Group, TIM Group, Telia Company, Fastweb and Altice Portugal.

The letter, which was seen by Reuters states: “Costs of planning and construction works are increasing. Prices for fibre optic cables, for example, have almost doubled in the first semester 2022. Similarly, the hikes in energy prices and in the prices of other inputs are also hitting the connectivity sector.

“Costs of planning and construction works are increasing. Prices for fibre optic cables, for example, have almost doubled in the first semester 2022. Similarly, the hikes in energy prices and in the prices of other inputs are also hitting the connectivity sector.

“For this to happen, and to be sustainable over time, we believe that the largest traffic generators should make a fair contribution to the sizable costs they currently impose on European networks.”

Big tech firms have historically opposed such calls, arguing that they heavily invest in equipment and technologies to reduce their bandwidth and operate more efficiently. Net neutrality advocates have similarly warned against such a move, and have said that it would facilitate the creation of ‘fast lanes’ for paid-up big tech players.

https://www.digitaltveurope.com

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