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Belgium’s Regulator Rejects Calls for Big Tech to Fund 5G and Broadband Rollout

 |  November 13, 2023

In a report released on Monday, Belgium’s telecom regulator, IBPT-BIPT, dismissed the notion of imposing financial obligations on major technology companies, such as Google and Microsoft, to contribute to the funding of 5G and broadband rollout in the country, reported Reuters.

Despite efforts by Europe’s telecom operators, including Deutsche Telekom, to advocate for a “fair share funding” model, the IBPT-BIPT emphasized that there is no clear necessity to compel technological giants to assist in financing the expansion of fifth-generation technology infrastructure.

The telecom operators’ proposal, which suggests that big tech companies should contribute to the costs associated with 5G and broadband, has encountered resistance from these technology giants, with concerns raised about the prospect of such contributions being akin to an “internet tax.”

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The IBPT-BIPT’s report stated, “IBPT-BIPT considers that the need to oblige internet platforms to pay network operators is not sufficiently demonstrated.” Additionally, it highlighted that the regulator believes there is no demonstrated need to introduce a fee based on the volume of internet traffic for the Belgian market.

As European telecom operators push for a financial commitment from major tech players, the report suggests that any decision on such rules may need to await the outcome of the next European Commission, which would follow the European Parliament elections scheduled for next year.

Source: Reuters