Euro-telcos want big tech to help pay for their networks • The Register

The European Telecom Network Operators Association (ETNO) has published a letter signed by ten telecom executives calling, among other things, for Big Tech to pay for building their networks.

The letter, signed by the CEOs of Vodafone Group, BT Group, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Orange Group and five other telecom leaders, calls for “renewed efforts to rebalance the relationship between global technology giants and the European digital ecosystem.”

The letter states that “a significant and increasing portion of network traffic is generated and exploited through Big Tech platforms, but requires continuous and extensive investment and planning in the network by the telecom sector,” adding “this model – which enables EU citizens to enjoy the fruits of digital transformation.” It can only be sustainable if these platforms also contribute equitably to network costs.”

The letter also calls for “strong political support to ensure that the regulatory action boosts investment in gigabit networks, which will require additional investment of €300 billion”. Once again, the context is “telcos compete head-to-head with the services provided by the big tech companies”. Big tech companies don’t pay for spectrum and don’t need to comply with the many laws that are binding on carriers. Or pay taxes often.

Carriers everywhere have never been able to come to terms with their amazing failure to sell customers the kind of services that provide rivers of gold to Netflix, Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Spotify and other tech giants.

The idea that Big Tech is taking advantage of carriers and therefore should help carriers build their networks, so it pops up from time to time without getting more traction from South Korea’s efforts to get Netflix to pay carriers for all the traffic that private videos generate. out.

Netflix told South Korea that it believes providing ISPs with a content delivery network that provides bandwidth is a fair contribution, and appears to be willing to see what the courts say on this argument.

Big tech companies always ignore calls from carriers to jointly invest in networks, with one exception: Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon have all invested in submarine cables to carry their data across oceans. Doing so can save money because they also keep some capacity on these cables, avoiding transmission fees in the future. It is difficult to find examples of this generosity of road carriers.

The ten signatories to this letter wrapped themselves in the European flag, citing their role in pursuing the goals of the European Union’s Digital Decade, thus contributing to the advancement of the European economy. Even climate change got a mention: Carriers cite data suggesting that more widespread technology adoption could reduce carbon dioxide2 emissions by 15 percent.

At the time of writing, big tech companies and regulators have not yet responded to the letter. record They will follow up on the story in case their responses are worth publishing. ®

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