On Thursday, Meta Platforms issued its sharpest criticism to date of a push by EU telecoms operators to have Big Tech pay a portion of network costs, claiming the proposal is neither the answer to their financial issues nor a consideration of the significant investments made by IT firms.
For 20 years, operators like Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, and others have pushed American tech firms to fund the roll-out of 5G and broadband.
According to the operators, Alphabet’s Google, Apple, Meta, Netflix, Amazon, and Microsoft should contribute to the billions of euros in infrastructure expenditures because they account for more than half of all data internet traffic.
“We recognise the financial challenges that European telecom operators now face after decades of strong performance,” Kevin Salvadori, Meta’s vice president for network and Bruno Cendon Martin, its director and head of reality labs wireless, wrote in a blog post.
“However, proposals by some European telecom operators to impose network fees on Content Application Providers (CAPs) such as Meta are not the solution,” they said.
“Network fee proposals are built on a false premise because they do not recognise the value that CAPs create for the digital ecosystem, nor the investments we make in the infrastructure that underpins it.”
They mentioned the tens of billions of euros Meta invests in its applications and platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Search, which in turn generates demand that permits telecom providers to charge customers for internet access.
Meta cited the $880 billion in digital infrastructure that internet giants have jointly invested in around the world, including $120 billion year from 2018 to 2021, saving telecom operators around $6 billion annually.
Court rejected telecoms companies’ claims that the growth of the metaverse, a set of online shared virtual worlds, would put a burden on the system’s capacity.
“But this is nonsense. The development of the metaverse will not require telecom operators to grow capital expenditures for greater network investment,” Salvadori and Martin said.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)