A Google executive has said big tech companies shouldn’t have to pay for internet service providers’ (ISP) network-upgrade costs in the EU, a report from Ars Technica said.
It comes as there’s currently a movement in Europe for tech companies to pay for broadband improvements.
“Introducing a sender-pays principle is not a new idea, and would upend many of the principles of the open Internet. These arguments are similar to those we heard 10 or more years ago and we have not seen new data that changes the situation,” said Matt Brittin, president of Google’s EMEA business and operations, speaking at a keynote panel at the Tech and Politics Forum presented by Financial Times and telecom lobby group ETNO.
He added that Google already invests in network infrastructure both on its own and through collaboration, which reduces the strain on broadband network operators.
The CEOs of 13 large European telecom companies called last November for tech giants to start chipping in on the upgrade costs for ISPs. They said too much of network traffic had been monetized and generated from big tech platforms, requiring “continuous, intensive” network investments and planning.
EU regulators had reportedly been taking this seriously, saying they would roll out a consultation to look into the idea.
There have been multiple global attempts to hold big tech accountable, including the recent announcement by the U.K. that it would be probing the cloud market to see whether some big companies, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft, are stifling innovation and competition.
Those companies have been referred to as “hyperscalers” because of the size of the data centers they use to store and process data — they make up around 81% of the revenues of the U.K. cloud market.
Communications regulator Ofcom said the cloud sector was still evolving, and it wanted to look at “how the market is working today and how we expect it to develop in the future — aiming to identify any potential competition concerns early to prevent them becoming embedded as the market matures.”