United States comments on European Consultation: “The future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure”
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in a filing on behalf of the US government, urged the European Commission to promote affordable access to broadband, protect users’ access to online content, and avoid discriminatory measures that distort competition. The filing on May 19 is in response to the European Commission’s exploratory consultation on The Future of the Electronic Communications Sector and its Infrastructure. The consultation explores, among other questions, how to promote connectivity and ensure affordable access to broadband. It also seeks input on whether certain large content and applications companies should pay to maintain, secure and expand telecommunications networks in the EU, either via direct payments to European Internet service providers or through another mechanism. The filing also warns of some of the risks involved in mandating direct payments from content and application providers to telecom operators, noting that, if implemented in the EU, this particular approach could:
- Give telecommunications operators a new bottleneck that could be used to increase control over their customers;
- Raise costs for consumers and small businesses; and
- Create distortions in the Internet ecosystem.
United States comments on European Consultation: “The future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure” U.S. Government Engages in European Commission Discussion on Financing Network Deployment