the voraciousness of the Internet giants is costing telecom operators dearly

As the European Union finally mobilizes to regulate the US network giants, telecom operators are waiting for Brussels to hear their recriminations. They have been fighting Glasses for years. They regret that these giants do not pay a penny for their 4G, 5G or fiber optic networks when they are the biggest users. A study carried out by the consultancy Axon, on behalf of the European Association of Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO), the lobby of European operators, raises the veil on this reality.

According to this work, broadcast by FinancialTimes, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft account for 55% of all Internet traffic on their networks. The study of Axon highlights, above all, that this is not without consequences for the telecommunications sector: it would cost, each year, between 15 billion and 28 billion euros.

According to ETNO, this situation is unacceptable. The lobby is asking the EU to move the main platforms to the box office. According to operators, if some of these giants delivered 20 billion euros a year to operators, this would create about 840,000 new jobs by 2025 and significantly reduce the energy consumption of the sector.

Operators want “a contribution” from Gafa

“We want to start an open dialogue with policy makers, consumers and technology companies on how to address specific imbalances in Internet traffic markets”said Lise Fuhr, general manager of ETNO, according to the FinancialTimes.

Still according to the economic newspaper, the association is based mainly on a statement from the European Commission on digital technology. This specifies it “All market players benefiting from the digital transformation must contribute in a fair and proportionate way to the costs of digital goods, services and infrastructure”.

This is not the first time that telecommunications operators have criticized Gafa’s massive use of its pipes. Last November, CEOs of Orange, Proximus, Altice Portugal, Deutsche Telekom, BT and Vodafone signed a platform, under the auspices of ETNO, to demand more equity from US network giants.

“An important and growing part of network traffic is generated and monetized by large technology platforms”what “Requires continuous and intensive investments in the network”, stressed the operators. Or “this model” it can not be “sustainable”they insisted, “only if these great technology platforms also contribute fairly to network costs”.

This new upset of ETNO comes at a time when all major European operators are suffering on the stock market. They are now the subject of an investor sling. Raulen, rightly, against his huge investments in the networks, in a fierce competitive environment and encouraged for years by Brussels.

Before handing over the reins of Orange to Christel Heydemann last month, Stéphane Richard was especially critical of the European Union, which he says has a big responsibility in this situation.

“You know, eleven years from now [en tant que PDG d’Orange, Ndlr]I lost a lot of hope about what to expect from Europe, he said in late December during a conference in Paris. I’m sorry, but in terms of regulation, concentration – and I’m in a good position to know – there is unfortunately an extraordinary inertia in the system. »

According to the former manager, Brussels has given Gafa too much freedom which, thanks to the networks of operators, has transformed the continent into “digital colony”. “I always remember this quote from former Google President Eric Schmidt:”You made the investments, I made the profits’ [‘Vous avez fait les investissements, j’ai engrangé les profits’, Ndlr]he remembered the old head of Orange. That’s all … And what have we done to go a little against this logic? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. » Will this trend be reversed? It is an understatement to say that operators are waiting for Brussels in turn.