The European Commission studies whether the technological giants should contribute to the cost of the networks


Last February, the executive directors of Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Orange published a joint letter asking that the large content platforms “contribute to the cost of the European digital infrastructure that carries their services”. This old aspiration has finally found an answer in Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission and head of Competition, who is evaluating whether technology companies should contribute to paying for the network that uses their services so much.

“I think that the fair contribution in telecommunications networks is an issue that we must address very carefully,” says Margrethe Vestager in statements collected by Reuters. “We see that there are actors that generate a large amount of traffic that allows their business but do not contribute to enable that traffic. They have not provided investments for the deployment of connectivity.” Vestager adds that they are studying the evolution of traffic and how to make the technological giants contribute to the cost of the networks.

Vestanger’s statements come a day after ETNO, a lobby that represents Europe’s large operators, has published an analysis where it talks about the socio-economic benefits that a “fairer balance between technology giants and telecommunications operators would bring.” ”. This report echoes a study that states that 56.96% of global traffic is generated by the big six, that is, Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix, six US technology giants.

Another of the reports referred to by ETNO and which has been supported by Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone, adds that OTT traffic alone generates annual costs of between 36,000 and 40,000 million euros for the Union’s telcos European.

ETNO’s analysis ensures that putting a solution to this situation could produce “substantial” socioeconomic benefits. By way of example, he states that if the big technology companies contribute 20 billion euros a year to the development of the network infrastructure, a boost of 72 billion euros would be given to the economy of the European Union. ETNO concludes that a “direct enforcement tool” must be found to ensure that OTTs contribute “fairly and proportionally” to the cost of networks.