The “payment of the pipes” returns to the first line. Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange and up to 13 major European operators have come together to request by letter to the European Union that technology companies and services that make great use of the network, such as Netflix or YouTube, help defray the costs of this infrastructure.
The CEOs of the different operators have signed a statement describing the enormous investment required to implement fiber and the 5G connection and how this network that they create is being widely used by companies such as Netflix, Google or Facebook.
“A large and growing part of the network traffic is generated and monetized by large technology platforms, but it requires continuous and intensive investment and planning in the network by the telecommunications sector,” explain the large operators. Last year, this sector’s investment in infrastructure was € 52.5 billion, the highest level in the last six years.
European telcos want Big Tech to help finance networks
Among the signatories are the CEOs of Telefonica, Orange, KPN, Deutsche Telekom, BT Group, Telekom Austria, Vivacom, Proximus, Telenor, Altice Portugal, Telia Company, Swisscom and Vodafone. That is to say, practically all the big European operators.
“Telecos compete head-to-head with Big Tech services in the context of vibrant markets “, say the operators themselves. In their view, the European Union should adapt the regulation to facilitate investment in future gigabit networks, which according to their calculations will require about 300,000 million euros.
“We estimate that more than 2,000 million euros of sector income would fall by force in a period of 4 years, which is equivalent to 2.5% of the sector’s annual investment capacity in mobile infrastructure,” they point out in relation to high spectrum prices and auctions.
The European Union now has to study this measure. For the moment, governments such as Spain have already proposed an “operator fee” where services such as WhatsApp, Telegram and communications providers subsidize operators for the use of networks. However, in the final draft of the Telecommunications Law, this measure did not go ahead, perhaps pending a broader movement by the European authorities.
Via | Reuters