The heads of Europe’s largest telecom operators, including BT, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, have called on tech companies like Netflix and Amazon to pay some of the steep data costs. Fueled by the boom of global broadcasting and the Internet.
The call from the 16 chief executives comes as the European Commission prepares to launch an advisory on whether tech companies like Google, FacebookAnd Netflix and Microsoft have to pay some huge costs for the massive amount of global Internet traffic they transmit over their telecom networks.
More than half of global internet traffic is done by six companies in Silicon Valley – Google, Facebook and Netflixand Apple, Amazon and Microsoft – according to ETNO, a lobby group for European telecom operators. The percentage goes up to 80% when gaming giants like Call of Duty, Activision Blizzard are included.
Much of the growth in data use is due to the influx of shows like Netflix’s hit Bridgerton and Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which are based on the work of JRR Tolkien.
“We believe that the largest traffic generators should make a fair contribution to the huge costs they currently impose on European networks,” the chiefs of communications said in a joint statement. “A fair contribution would send a clear financial signal to live stream creators regarding the data growth associated with their use of scarce network resources.”
The statement says European telecoms companies spend €50bn (£44.5bn) a year building and maintaining full-fiber broadband and 5G networks.
The energy crisis and high material costs — the price of fiber-optic cable has doubled this year — add to the financial burden.
“In this context, the issue of ensuring a sustainable Internet and connectivity ecosystem is more urgent than ever,” the companies said. “Timely action is a must. Europe has missed many of the opportunities that the Internet provides to consumers. It must now rapidly build up the strength for the age of metaphysics.”
Broadcasting and internet companies say so Don’t pay for their content with a huge investment In systems that significantly reduce the costs of carriers.
These include vast networks of data servers that allow content to be delivered close to telecom operator networks, shortening data distance and then travel and cost to consumers, with Silicon Valley companies footing the bill for “transportation fees.”
On Monday, Matt Britten, Head of Business and Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa at The GoogleLast year, the company spent more than €23 billion in capital expenditures, most of it on infrastructure.
“Introducing the ‘sender pays’ principle is not a new idea, and it will upend many open internet principles,” he said. “These arguments are similar to those we heard 10 or more years ago and we haven’t seen new data changing the situation.”
Google’s investment includes six large data centers in Europe, 20 undersea cables globally, including five in Europe, and a cache to store digital content locally at 20 locations in Europe.
Carriers argue that the rules that prevent them from passing some costs on to the Internet’s largest engines of traffic – net-neutrality rules that treat all Internet traffic equally – will continue to be adhered to.
“We fully respect and support the need to uphold the Open Internet Principles in the European Union,” they said. “Consumers should continue to enjoy all legal content and applications available on the Internet.”