Digital rights activists raise concerns about the risk to net neutrality over France, Spain & Italy's position that Big Tech firms should share network costs in Europe
"Exclusive: Big Tech should share Europe network costs, France, Italy and Spain say", 2 August 2022
France, Italy and Spain are stepping up pressure on the European Commission to come up with legislation that ensures Big Tech firms partly finance telecoms infrastructure in the bloc...
This was the first time the three governments have expressed their joint position on the issue.
EU regulators said in May they were analysing the question of whether tech giants Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google, Meta and Netflix (NFLX.O) should shoulder some of the costs of upgrading telecoms networks. read more
In a joint paper, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, the three governments said the six largest content providers accounted for 55% of internet traffic.
It urged that European telecom networks and large online content providers pay fair shares of network costs.
The French and Spanish governments did immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to a study released by telecoms lobbying group ETNO earlier this year, an annual contribution of 20 billion euros to network costs by the tech giants could give a 72-billion-euro boost to the EU economy.
However, digital rights activists have warned making Big Tech pay for networks could threaten EU net neutrality rules, which they feared could be watered down in a deal with online giants to help fund telecoms network. read more
Any legislative proposal should "ensure fairness between users in accordance with the net neutrality rules, which is a core principle we absolutely need to preserve," the joint document said.