European telecommunications firms are calling out big tech companies to contribute to the cost of 5G and fiber rollout across the continent. The firms believe that the current situation is not sustainable and that Big Tech, which includes Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube, will benefit greatly from the rollout, thereby, shall make investments in network infrastructure.
A letter was signed by the chief executives of Telefonica, Orange, KPN, BT, Telekom Austria, Vivacom, Proximus, Telenor, Altice Portugal, Telia and Swisscom seen by Reuters, that said:
"A large and increasing part of network traffic is generated and monetized by big tech platforms, but it requires continuous, intensive network investment and planning by the telecommunications sector.
This model – which enables EU citizens to enjoy the fruits of the digital transformation – can only be sustainable if such big tech platforms also contribute fairly to network costs.”
Although the CEOs did not mention any tech firms by name, Reuters believes that they have big tech companies like Netflix and Facebook in their minds.
The CEOs also criticized EU lawmakers' attempts to scrap surcharges on intra-EU calls, which is something that acts as a source of revenue from business users.
"We estimate that they would forcibly remove over 2 billion euros revenues from the sector in a 4 year period, which is equivalent to 2.5% of the sector's yearly investment capacity for mobile infrastructure," the companies said.
Although the CEOs have signed the proposal, it will take some time before EU lawmakers will adopt it and find a suitable agreement.