A group representing Europe’s internet service providers said a proposal to make large technology companies cover telecoms operators’ network costs could lead to systemic weaknesses in critical infrastructure, Reuters reported.

Telecom operators are pushing for the European Union to introduce new laws that would require U.S. technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix to shoulder a portion of European telecom network costs, with telecom operators arguing that they drive much of the region’s Internet traffic.

In September, the European Commission’s head of industry, Thierry Breton, said it would launch a consultation on so-called “fair share” payments in early 2023 before proposing a bill.

Now the European Internet Exchange Association (Euro-IX) has said the proposal risks reducing the quality of service for users across Europe and could “inadvertently create new systemic problems” in critical infrastructure.

“The internet is a complex ecosystem and it is politicians who are ultimately responsible for the systemic effects arising from policy choices.”

writes Bijal Sangani, managing director of Euro-IX.

It was later added that legislators should not prioritize “administrative rules over technical necessity or a high-quality internet” for the people of Europe.


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