That it be the big Big Tech who partly finance the networks that the telecommunications operators deploy in countries like Spain, France or Italy. This is the position that three of the large EU countries have just submitted to the European Commission. A claim that is not new, but that is true, presented for the first time together.
In a document to which Reuters has had access this week, the three countries insist on the position that was informally discussed last May, when some regulators expressed the opinion that companies such as Alphabet, Meta, Google or Netflix should defray the cost of maintaining networks of which, to a large extent, they have become the main beneficiaries.
In that document, the three governments express concern that the traffic generated by the six main North American technology companies on EU networks already represents 55% of the total, which represents a great cost for telecommunications operators.
Specifically, it ensures that “this generates specific costs for European telecommunications operators in terms of capacity, at a time when they are already investing heavily in the most expensive parts of the networks with 5G and fiber to the home.”
In this sense, the authorities of these three countries ask the EU to develop a legislative proposal that guarantees that “all market agents contribute to the costs of digital infrastructure”. According to a study published by the ETNO lobby earlier this year, an annual contribution of €20 billion by tech giants could give a €72 billion boost to the EU economy.
However, some digital rights activists have warned that making big tech companies pay for the networks could threaten the EU’s net neutrality rules, fearing they will be watered down in a global deal and thus start have accesses of first and second quality.