Europe’s major telecommunications operators faced resistance from a majority of EU countries in their efforts to compel Big Tech companies to contribute to the funding of 5G and broadband deployment across the region, Reuters reported on Friday. At a meeting with EU industry chief Thierry Breton in Luxembourg on Thursday, telecoms ministers from 18 European countries either rejected the proposed network fee levy on tech firms, or demanded a study into the need and impact of such a measure, the sources said. That echoed comments made last month by EU telecoms regulators’ group BEREC.
European network operators including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia want Big Tech to shoulder part of the network costs on the grounds that their data and content makes up a large part of network traffic. They have found a receptive ear in the European Commission’s industry chief Breton, a former chief executive of France Telecom and French IT consulting firm Atos.