European telecoms leaders want tech companies to split the expenses of maintaining internet networks

The heads of the largest telecom companies in Europe, including BT, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom, have urged digital giants like Netflix and Amazon to foot some of the bills for the skyrocketing data prices brought on by the worldwide streaming and internet boom. The 16 CEOs' call comes as the European Commission gets ready to start a consultation on whether technology giants like Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Microsoft should be required to foot some of the rising costs for the massive amounts of international internet traffic they transport on their telecom networks. According to ETNO, a lobbying organization for European telecoms providers, six Silicon Valley companies—Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft—handle more than half of all internet traffic worldwide. When gaming goliaths like Activision Blizzard, maker of Call of Duty, are taken into account, the percentage can go as high as 80%. The streaming of popular television programs like the Netflix sensation Bridgerton and Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which is based on JRR Tolkien's books, is largely responsible for the increase in data usage. According to a joint statement from the telecoms executives, "we feel that the greatest traffic generators should make a fair contribution to the enormous expenses they currently impose on European networks." A fair payment "would send streamers a clear financial signal in connection to the data growth associated with their use of limited network resources." According to the statement, 5G networks and full-fiber broadband construction and maintenance cost European telecommunications operators €50 billion (£44.5 billion) yearly. The cost of living is rising due to the energy crisis and rising material expenses. In this environment, the corporations claim, "it is more important than ever to build a healthy ecology for the internet and connection." " Quick action is required. The prospects provided by the consumer internet were largely ignored by Europe. For the era of the metaverses, it must now quickly gain strength. According to streaming and internet firms, they do pay for their content through significant investments in technology that significantly lower the costs for telecommunications carriers. These include enormous networks of data servers that enable content delivery close to telecom providers' networks, reducing the distance over which data must travel and the cost to customers, with Silicon Valley corporations paying for "transit costs." The company invested more than €23 billion in capital expenditures last year, a large portion of which was on infrastructure, according to Matt Brittin, Google's head of EMEA business and operations, who announced on Monday. It is not a novel idea to introduce the "sender pays" approach, but doing so would undermine many of the open internet's guiding principles, he claimed. One participant claimed, "We have not seen new data that changes the issue," yet these arguments are similar to those we heard ten or more years ago. Google's investment consists of 20 subsea cables worldwide, five of which are located in Europe, six sizable data centers in Europe, and 20 locations in Europe for local caches to store digital information. The telecom firms contend that laws preventing them from shifting some of the expenses to the main sources of internet traffic - net neutrality laws requiring equal treatment for all internet traffic - will still be respected. According to them, maintaining the EU's open internet principles is important and deserves complete respect. All legal online material and applications must still be enjoyed by consumers.