In his latest announcements about a European telecommunications tax project targeting large platforms, Thierry Breton has sidelined the discussion, provoking a discussion about the “metaverse”. Now we better understand why. The European Commissioner for the Internal Market detailed on September 14 in a LinkedIn post the European Union’s three-axis plan for metaverse, virtual and augmented reality technologies, one of whose axes concerns telecommunications infrastructure.
industry coalition for AR/VR
Thierry Breton officially announces the launch of an “industrial coalition for virtual and augmented reality”, which will bring together participants in the ecosystem of the “metaverse”, defined by the EU as virtual universes in real time, permanent, in reality augmented or virtual. The roadmap adopted by more than 40 European organizations (large companies, SMEs, universities) aims to support the technologies (software, 5G, high performance computing, cloud technologies, semiconductors, photonics, new materials) to be used to protect Europe’s position in this sector.
Designed as a platform for dialogue between the AR/VR ecosystem and European lawmakers, this coalition was announced in 2020 as part of the Media and Audiovisual Commission’s action plan. Its purpose is to encourage investment and to identify key challenges and opportunities for the sector. Its preparatory work began at the end of 2021.
advice on financing telecommunications infrastructure
Considering that virtual worlds will increase the burden on connectivity needs and that “in the current economic climate, return on investment in infrastructure is stagnating and costs are rising”, Thierry Breton returns to launch reflections and consultations on the economic model. telecommunications infrastructure. “All players who benefit from digital transformation must contribute fairly and equitably to it,” confirms the Commissioner.
creation of interoperable standards
Finally, the third axis of the plan concerns “European values and regulation”. “People should feel as safe in the virtual world as they do in the physical world,” he says. To do this, the EU is counting on DSA and DMA, as well as the implementation of compatible standards that will prevent a major player from privatizing the metaverse. “We will not be spectators of the new Wild West or the creation of new monopolies,” says Thierry Breton.
“Like the Bauhaus, we will launch a creative and interdisciplinary movement to develop standards and increase interoperability, with the support of IT experts, regulators, civil society organizations and youth.” This is undoubtedly the most vague point of this action plan.