Belgian regulator sees no reason for Big Tech to pay for 5G rollout

Belgian regulator sees no reason for Big Tech to pay for 5G rollout

The Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT) has decided who it thinks should pay for the rollout of high-speed Internet in Europe. With the current knowledge of the matter, it says European telecom providers are able to finance everything on their own.

Foreign large tech companies do not need to share in the costs, according to BIPT. “BIPT considers that the need to oblige Internet platforms to pay network operators has not been sufficiently demonstrated,” it writes in a report, according to Reuters.

This report has been made since European telecom providers are discussing with Big Tech about the cost split for the deployment of 5G. European telecom providers want to pass on a larger share of the financial costs to tech giants such as Microsoft and Google. They argue that these companies cause half of all data traffic.

According to the Belgian regulator, more evidence is needed to defend that position. The report further clarifies the Belgian situation: “BIPT considers that the need to introduce a fee based on the volume of Internet traffic for the Belgian market has not been demonstrated.”

Discussion continues

Earlier this year, Dutch Minister Adriaansens also opposed the idea of letting Big Tech pay a bigger part, a so-called ‘internet tax’. According to the minister, the costs will eventually end up with the user anyway through price increases in subscriptions.

Read also: Netherlands warns of European ‘internet tax’ for Big Tech

There is still no clarity from the European Commission. According to sources, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, has not yet made a concrete proposal. If so, an answer would be deferred to the next European Commission, which will be voted on in 2024.