back to article European carriers again call for Big Tech to fund network builds

The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has again called for big technology companies – and especially video streamers – to pay for their share of internet infrastructure. A Monday statement signed by 16 telco bosses from across the continent calls on the European Commission to adopt policies that …

  1. Gordon 10

    Fuscking hypocrites

    They’ve literally gottten fat off of building out networks for the last 50 years in many cases funded by the public purse. F*ck em I say.

  2. PBuon

    Consumers of the content already pay through the nose to use these networks (not to mention bandwidth costs incurred by streaming services themselves). Now we’ll ultimately pay again when no doubt costs are passed back to consumers from content generators. Passing the buck on years of poor investment and foresight in infrastructure.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yep. At it's simplest, from the point of view of, say, Netflix, it doesn't matter how much content they make available, none of it passes over the network unless a user/customer requests that data, and that user/customer is already paying their ISP for the use of the network. On the other hand, the likes of Netflix have created a huge demand for data and so users want to use more data capacity on the ISPs networks. But the ISPs are generally in a race to the bottom on "all you can eat" pricing. I pay for a 100Mb/s connection. It's plenty for our household and it's about the lowest package I can get from Virgin Media. If I could drop to 50Mb/s I might consider it if it was cheaper, but I'd probably still use the same amount of data. Ditto with regard to upgrading to a faster package. Same data usage, but some of it would be for a shorter time.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Stop

    "But the CEOs believe they're being asked to do all the heavy lifting"

    I'm sorry, but the streamers are already paying for their bandwidth, if I'm not mistaken.

    They have a contract, and if your tariffs are not adequate, the onus is on you.

    Additionally, the users also have a contract, and they are paying for their access as well.

    Stop trying to find excuses to get more money. Do your job and configure your prices accordingly.

    El Reg is not supposed to pay more just because I'm reading one of its pages.

    This is nonsense.

  4. El Bard

    "But the CEOs believe they're being asked to do all the heavy lifting to fund and build that infrastructure, and with 5G builds ongoing and metaverses just around the corner they argue it's unfair to be asked to pay for it alone."

    Except they don't. The telecom industry is indeed capital intensive but investments in networks are heavily subsidized and, not least, traffic on the network is already payed for by the consumers. If one looks at the situation in the US the pattern is quite clear. e.g. https://www.techdirt.com/2022/06/17/we-just-keep-throwing-billions-at-telecom-monopolies-in-exchange-for-half-completed-shitty-broadband-networks/

    Taking one random petitioner (Deutsche Telekom https://www.telekom.com/en/investor-relations/publications/financial-results) one can see that these companies are doing just fine, so much so that in their financial result they say "Europe: ↗ growth continues unabated". Others which are not doing so well, e.g. Telenor have been involved in decades of "unlucky" business ventures, for Telenor in the East and far East, so hardly anyone else's fault.

    Let's also not forget that telecom was a state run (EU) or backed (US) monopoly until the 1980s/1990s. History is not a Markovian chain, and such only apparently old tales have left plenty of "old habits" in place.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's similar to gas companies telling restaurants that because your customers need you to use gas to cook the food, you need to pay for the pipelines out of the north sea.

      No, it's a key mechanism you as the supplier need to get your goods to market to then be used. These carriers need to make that capital investment or their businesses literally don't exist, just as the oil companies need some way of moving the oil - or they fold.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Telcos here entered a price competition to sustain their share prices (and executives bonuses) basing them on the wrong metrics - i.e. "new users".

      While in the late 1990s a new user was a genuinely new users, today is mostly a zero sum game, your "new" users come from other telcos, which will lower their prices as well to get their "new" users again. They killed their own margins. I used to pay about 50 euro for a telephone line + ADS, now I pay 26 for a VDSL and unlimited VoIP calls. Some people on a GPON FTTH connection pay even less.

      They killed their own margins in attempts to re-establish the old monopoly they had.

      Big Tech shoud be taxed fairly to pay for their share infrastructure expenses - since there's a lot of subsidies to build modern network - but it's better to let States spend money while requiring to reach most citizens, that let telco get the money, build little, and fatten executives and shareholders bank accounts.

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Close, but then you decided that companies pay tax....Companies don't pay taxes, their customer do.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          So you don't pay taxes, your employer/customers do? It doesn't work that way. If taxes were magically to disappear, they wont' give products away for free or almost. They will still extract from customers as much as they can.

          The problem companies try to brainwash people into thinking they have not to pay taxes because it is better "for the community" - it's the other way round. Economics dictates company are not tree to set the prices whatever they like until they are a monopoly or close to it - and even then they still need enough "consumers".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Big Tech shoud be taxed. End of. The fuckers pay almost nothing.

        There are plenty of far more deserving uses for that extra tax revenue than the boardroom/executive pay at the likes of BT and Vodafone.

        It's total bollocks to make Big Tech "pay for their share infrastructure expenses". They already pay for their own infrastructure, just like how telcos and ISPs pay for theirs. By your logic(?), telcos and ISPs should be made to pay their share of Big Tech's datacentres, cloud stuff, production costs of streaming content and so on. And so should the manufacturers of smartphones, cable/DSL boxes and everything else that's connected to the interwebs.

  5. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Angel

    Remarkable shortcut

    it's quite usual for industry segments to complain that they are struggling and ask for subsidies from the government. The government also looks around for industries that are doing a bit too well and tax them more heavily. But this is cutting the middleman: "Hey, this guy is making more than me, so just give me some of his money"

  6. v13

    More money please

    ISP CEOs are lobbying for ISPs to be making more money.

    In other news, water was found on Earth.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Eat the rich

    It's the only solution to this shite.

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