Orange and FCC Commissioner Carr push for tech companies to pay broadband providers for network use
Orange Group CEO Christel Heydemann and Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr, called on technology giants to contribute a “fair” share to broadband infrastructure costs, arguing such companies are driving a need for continued upgrades and have disproportionately benefitted from telecommunications investments to date. Regulators in the US, EU, and South Korea are weighing rule changes that would force the likes of Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Netflix to pay telecom companies for the large amounts of traffic they generate. Heydemann questions whether the current arrangement between telecom companies and tech companies is sustainable, noting internet traffic is growing “30 to 40% annually while telecom revenues are based mostly on flat rates.” Ultimately, Heydemann calls on the EU to implement a “fairer system” in which large traffic emitters pay fees to operators to help pay for network maintenance and upgrades; Commissioner Carr agrees, stating, “After all, large technology companies benefit tremendously from these high-speed networks, and they generate the lion’s share of network traffic both in Europe and in the US." However, Google executive Matt Brittin warned if traffic fees are implemented it will be consumers who pay the price either financially or by receiving poorer quality services.
Orange CEO, FCC’s Carr push for tech cos to pay ISPs for network use