European telecoms chiefs call on tech firms to share internet network costs | Telecommunications industry

The bosses of Europe’s biggest telecoms operators including BT, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom have called for tech firms such as Netflix an Amazon to pay for some of the soaring costs of data fuelled by the global streaming and internet boom.

The call from the 16 chief executives comes as the European Commission prepares to launch a consultation into whether technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Netflix and Microsoft should be made to pay some of the soaring costs for the huge amount of global internet traffic they carry on their telecoms networks.

More than half of global internet traffic takes place through six Silicon Valley companies – Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft – according to ETNO, a lobby group for European telecoms operators. The proportion rises to as much as 80% when gaming giants such as the Call of Duty maker, Activision Blizzard, are included.

Much of the growth in data usage is driven by the streaming of shows such as the Netflix hit Bridgerton and Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which is based on the works of JRR Tolkien.

“We believe that the largest traffic generators should make a fair contribution to the sizeable costs they currently impose on European networks,” the telecoms chiefs said in a joint statement. “A fair contribution would send a clear financial signal for streamers in relation to the data growth associated with their use of scarce network resources.”

The statement says that European telecoms companies spend €50bn (£44.5bn) annually on building and maintaining full-fibre broadband and 5G networks.

The energy crisis and soaring costs of materials – fibre optic cable has doubled in price this year – is adding to the financial burden.

“In this context, the issue of ensuring a sustainable ecosystem for the internet and connectivity is more urgent than ever,” the companies said. “Timely action is a must. Europe missed out on many of the opportunities offered by the consumer internet. It must now swiftly build strength for the age of the metaverses.”

Streaming and internet companies say they do pay for their content through huge investment in systems that dramatically reduce the costs to telecoms companies.

These include vast networks of data servers that allow content to be delivered close to telecoms operators’ networks, shortening the distance data then travels and cost to consumers, with the Silicon Valley companies footing the bill for “transit charges”.

On Monday, Matt Brittin, the president of EMEA business and operations at Google, said last year the company spent more than €23bn in capital expenditure, much of which was on infrastructure.

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Chiefs playoff outlook: Computer models don’t favor KC

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes hangs his head during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

AP

The Kansas City Chiefs are below .500 through the first seven games of the NFL season for the first time since 2015, when they had a 2-5 record.

There is a sliver of good news in that comparison: the Chiefs ended up making the playoffs and were in the hunt for the AFC West title late in that season.

Can this year’s Chiefs team, which has a 3-4 record, repeat the feat? The computer models aren’t so sure.

The New York Times’ playoff picture gives the Chiefs a 34% chance of making the playoffs and a 12% shot of winning the division. Eight AFC teams have a higher percentage of qualifying for the postseason.

FiveThirtyEight.com is a bit more bullish on the Chiefs, giving them a 43% chance of being in the postseason and a 15% chance of being AFC West champions. There are eight conference teams ahead of the Chiefs in postseason chances.

PlayoffStatus.com gives the Chiefs just a 25% chance of making the playoffs and has 10 AFC teams ahead of them. They have an 11% chance of winning the West.

While the numbers aren’t favorable, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he’s embracing the opportunity to turn things around.

“I’m excited for it,” Mahomes said on “The Rich Eisen Show”. “I think the guys in this locker room are excited for the challenge and hopefully when we look back on this .. adversity we have and we can show that that was the reason why we became the team that we wanted to become.”

There is plenty of time for the Chiefs to improve their playoff chances. They have 10 games remaining, but five of them are against teams leading their division: Packers, Cowboys, Bengals and Raiders (twice).

In fact, no team faces a tougher slate of games to finish the season than the Chiefs, as James Palmer of the NFL Network noted.

Tankathon has those same numbers, and it’s worth noting the Raiders, who lead the AFC West, have the 16th most difficult remaining schedule (opponents have a combined .500 record). The remaining schedule for the Chargers, who have a 4-2 record, is ranked 27th (.440 opponent records).

Two other teams of note: the Bills’ schedule is ranked 30th (.403) and the Titans’ is 32nd (.379).

This story was originally published October 28, 2021 10:53 AM.

From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997.


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