European telecom companies seek network investment from Big Tech and streamers

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The European Union should make big tech and video streaming companies pay at least some of the estimated €28 billion they cost European telecom groups for their outsized use of network infrastructure, according to a new industry report. A small number of video, social media and tech companies — including Facebook owner Meta, Netflix and Amazon — account for more than 55 percent of all traffic on mobile and broadband networks, according to research commissioned by the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association and conducted by the consultancy firm Axon. This costs European telecommunications companies between €15 and €28 billion each year, they said. If some of these data-guzzling tech groups handed over €20 billion to telecoms companies to cover and increase network investment, it could create 840,000 new jobs by 2025 and significantly reduce energy consumption in the sector, the report claims, because it would spur new spending on 5G and fibre. Telecom companies have been embroiled in a multiyear debate with regulators about whether Big Tech companies, which use up a significant portion of network data, should be made to pay for some of the costly upgrades to infrastructure being undertaken by mobile and broadband carriers, including the billions being spent on 5G and full fibre rollout.

European telcos seek network investment from Big Tech and streamers