Telecom groups want tech giants to help fund networks

by Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – US tech giants have to bear part of the costs of developing telecommunications networks in Europe because they use them extensively, the heads of thirteen major European telecommunications groups, including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Orange, said on Monday. .

This demand is being formulated as the telecommunications sector faces heavy investments in the deployment of 5G, fiber optics and other cable networks to support the flow of data and services provided by Netflix, YouTube, owned by Google and Facebook.

In 2020, investments by telecommunications groups in Europe stood at € 52.5 billion, a peak in six years.

“A significant part and growth of traffic is generated and monetized by large technology platforms, but this requires continuous and intensive investment in networks, as well as planning by the telecommunications industry,” wrote the CEOs of thirteen large European telecommunications groups.

“This model … can only be viable if these large platforms also share equally in the costs of the network,” they added in a joint statement, which Reuters was able to consult.

No American companies are explicitly named, but listed giants like Netflix and Facebook appear to be the target.

Signatories to the letter include the CEOs of Telefónica, KPN, BT Group, Telekom Austria, Proximus, Telenor, Altice Portugal, Telia Company and Swisscom.

(Foo Yun Chee report; French version Jean Terzian)

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