EU official defends talks on Big Tech helping fund networks

EU official defends talks on Big Tech helping fund networks
EU official defends talks on Big Tech helping fund networks

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Europe’s current telecom networks aren’t as much as the job of dealing with surging quantities of web knowledge site visitors, a prime European Union official stated Monday, as he defended a session on whether or not Big Tech firms ought to assist pay for upgrades.

The telecom trade must rethink its enterprise fashions because it undergoes a “radical shift” fueled by a brand new wave of innovation corresponding to immersive, data-hungry applied sciences just like the metaverse, Thierry Breton, the European Fee’s official answerable for digital coverage, stated at a major industry expo in Barcelona called MWC, or Cellular World Congress.

Breton’s remarks got here days after he introduced a session on whether or not digital giants ought to assist contribute to the billions wanted to construct the 27-nation bloc’s future communications infrastructure, together with next-generation 5G wi-fi and fiber-optic cable connections, to maintain up with surging demand for digital knowledge.

“Sure, after all, we might want to discover a financing mannequin for the massive investments wanted,” Breton stated in a duplicate of a keynote speech at the MWC conference.

Telecommunications firms complain they’ve needed to foot the substantial prices of constructing and working community infrastructure just for large digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Fb to learn from the surging shopper demand for on-line providers.

“The session has been described by many because the battle over justifiable share between Big Telco and Big Tech,” Breton stated. “A binary alternative between those that present networks right this moment and people who feed them with the site visitors. That’s not how I see issues.”

Big tech firms say customers might endure as a result of they’d find yourself paying twice, with further charges for his or her on-line subscriptions.

Breton denied that the session was an assault on Big Tech or that he was siding with telecom firms.

“I’m proposing a brand new method,” he later advised reporters. Subjects up for dialogue embrace how a lot funding is required and whether or not rules should be modified, he stated.

“We may have zero taboo. Do we have to adapt it? Do we have to focus on who ought to pay for what? That is precisely what’s the session right this moment,” Breton stated.

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