European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton speaks at the Mobile World Congress press conference in Barcelona.
Josep Largo | Afp | Getty Images
BARCELONA — A senior European Union official insisted on Monday that the debate over tech giants paying for telecom networks is not sparking a “fight” between big tech and telecom companies.
The Telecommunications Group has asked European regulators to implement a framework to charge companies sending traffic over their networks. This, they say, is known as “sender payments” and will help fund huge infrastructure upgrades.
Their logic is that certain platforms, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, process so much data that they should bear some of the cost of adding new capacity to cope with the growing burden. is.
Last week, the EU launched talks aimed at strengthening Europe’s telecommunications infrastructure. Among them, there was a question asking whether to establish a digital fund at the EU or national level, or to request direct contributions from internet giants to telecom operators.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton suggested that EU regulation is no longer fit for purpose and it’s time to rethink how the current model works. Did.
“We are at the beginning of a new revolution. Over the next few years, the entire industry will undergo fundamental changes that will require a rethinking of its business model,” Bretton said on stage at MWC.
“This talk has been described by many as a battle for fair share between Big Teleco and Big Tech. It is a choice between the two.”
But he argued that it wasn’t always “fighting for fair share between big telecoms and big tech companies.”
Ha said the block will need to “find a financing model for the huge investments required” in developing new technologies like next-generation mobile networks and the Metaverse.
This is happening as carriers try to reinvent themselves as cloud-based businesses. On Monday, several companies, including Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica, announced new application programming interfaces (APIs) to open up their networks to software developers.
There are also attempts to make peace between the two. The Breton keynotes were preceded by virtual appearances by cloud executives from Microsoft and Google to discuss their commitments to the telecommunications industry.
Orange CEO Christel Heydemann has disputed claims that requiring companies to pay for their network usage amounts to an Internet “tax.” She added that it was the “first step” in dealing with the “imbalanced situation.”
clock: European telcos want US tech giants to pay for internet, but tech giants fight back