Technology

Tax on big technology to finance telecommunications networks? France for

France, Italy and Spain are in favor of Big Tech’s contribution to telecommunications infrastructure. This is the first time that governments have taken an official position on this issue. In a paper submitted to the European Commission, seen by Reuters on August 1, they call for a “legislative proposal that ensures that all market participants contribute to digital infrastructure spending”, while ensuring that different users “are treated as fair in accordance with the rules of net neutrality, which is a fundamental principle that must be observed.”

This request for a financial donation, mainly aimed at online streaming and video players such as Netflix, has been coming from the French Telecommunications Federation and other representative bodies of telecom operators in Europe for many years. But it was never officially supported by the States.

More than half of the traffic

In France, for example, Arcep estimates that more than half of the major ISPs’ customer traffic comes from Netflix, Google (Youtube), Akamai (CDN or content delivery networkthat is, a content distribution network that brings data storage closer to where it is consumed), Facebook and Amazon (Prime Video).

The message to the European Commission comes after EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last May that the Commission was starting an analysis of the situation to determine whether big content providers should be asked to fund the networks. The European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Digital, Thierry Breton, was even bolder, arguing that this contribution principle had been “acquired” and that it was necessary to “re-arrange the fair remuneration of networks”.

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