Italy’s Industry Minister, Adolfo Urso, expressed broad support for European Union proposals that suggest Big Tech companies should contribute to the funding of telecoms infrastructure in the EU. He emphasized that all market players benefitting from the digital transformation should proportionately share the infrastructure costs. However, Urso highlighted the need for a careful assessment by the EU regarding the extent of network overload caused by content and services from Big Tech firms before implementing any legislation.
Telecoms companies, including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Telecom Italia (TIM), advocate for this “fair-share funding” concept, arguing that major players like Google, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, and Amazon, who are responsible for a significant portion of internet traffic, should contribute to the expenses of high-speed network expansion. On the other hand, Big Tech companies have expressed concerns about this approach, labeling it as an “internet tax.”
Urso called for the EU Commission to conduct further assessments, suggesting that more time is needed to evaluate the impact of traffic generated by Big Tech companies on network infrastructure. The discussion at the EU telecoms minister meeting in Spain highlights the ongoing debate over the financial responsibilities of tech giants in supporting telecoms infrastructure.