Friday, December 9, 2022

European telcos set to win battle with Massive Tech, may set international agenda

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Nevertheless, in what telecom executives name the clearest signal that the sector could also be profitable over regulators, EU business chief Thierry Breton has mentioned he’ll search suggestions from each side earlier than drafting laws.

“As soon as they begin a factor like this, it means it goes forward and that it’s severe. This was an untouchable taboo six months in the past,” mentioned a telecoms business supply.

Breton, a proponent of European industrial champions, nevertheless, must step up his tempo to get laws handed earlier than his mandate ends in 2024.

“There’s a big imbalance in negotiating energy as Massive Tech has no incentive to return to the desk in any respect proper now,” a spokesperson for the GSMA telecoms lobbying group mentioned. “So we’d like a legislative mechanism that makes them do this.”

The fee is working to ensure all actors concerned in information flows contribute to the financing of connectivity infrastructure, with out undermining the idea of open web, in keeping with these sources conversant in the matter.


Google has been scathing of what it says is a “sender pays” precept.

Such a transfer would disrupt the bloc’s web neutrality or open web entry and damage shoppers, Matt Brittin, Google’s EMEA president, instructed a convention earlier this week.

Telecoms operators have dismissed such worries. Telecom executives interviewed mentioned there is no such thing as a plan to dam visitors and that the purpose is just to make sure that the biggest gamers contribute to hovering community prices.

Any fee to telecom operators could possibly be restricted to solely giant content material suppliers exceeding a set threshold, in keeping with three sources conversant in the matter. A small firm wouldn’t must pay something, they added.

Some suppliers wish to negotiate with tech firms on market-specific offers, moderately than make a blanket deal, the sources mentioned.

The tech firms level to billions of {dollars} they’ve invested in constructing caches, information facilities and subsea cables, and expertise to ship content material extra effectively.

“We function greater than 700 caching areas in Europe, so when shoppers use their web connection to look at Netflix, the content material does not journey lengthy distances,” a Netflix spokesperson mentioned.

To meet EU objectives of getting 5G all over the place and Gigabit dwelling connections by 2030, telecom firms would wish to take a position lots of of billions of euros whereas carrying a excessive debt load.

Deutsche Telekom has over 100 billion euros of debt whereas Telefonica owes over 40 billion euros. Two sources mentioned that any new EU regulation would probably have constraints to ensure the cash goes into the community, and to not pay down debt.

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