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European Telecom Groups Ask Brussels to Make Big Tech Pay More for Networks

Europe’s biggest telecoms companies have called on the EU to compel Big Tech to pay a “fair” contribution for using their networks, the latest stage in a battle for payments that has pitched the sector against companies such as Netflix and Google.

From a report:Technology companies that “benefit most” from telecoms infrastructure and drive traffic growth should contribute more to costs, according to the chief executives of 20 groups including BT, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, who signed an open letter seen by the Financial Times. It will be sent to the European Commission and members of the European parliament. “Future investments are under serious pressure and regulatory action is needed to secure them,” they warned. “A fair and proportionate contribution from the largest traffic generators towards the costs of network infrastructure should form the basis of a new approach.”

They added that regulators need to take action to help secure future investment, with telecoms groups having to spend billions to support the rollout of 5G and upgrade to full-fibre networks. Signatories included Timotheus Hottges at Deutsche Telekom, Christel Heydemann at Orange, Jose Mara Alvarez-Pallete at Telefonica and Pietro Labriola at Telecom Italia. It was also supported by outgoing BT chief executive Philip Jansen, his successor Allison Kirkby, who is currently chief executive at Telia, as well as Vodafone’s chief executive Margherita Della Valle. They suggested that a payment mechanism might only make demands on “the very largest traffic generators” with a focus on “accountability and transparency on contributions…so that operators invest directly into Europe’s digital infrastructure.”

Source: Tech Slashdot