Big Tech is being pressured by the European telecom sector to pay for the internet’s construction

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In doing so, the European Union seized on an argument that local broadband operators had been making for a decade: Should Big Tech contribute to the telecommunications infrastructure they use?
Broadband operators argued that the benefits of suddenly being able to handle 40 percent more downstream traffic and twice as much upstream traffic during the pandemic benefited U.S. tech platforms, while they couldn’t foot the bill. The Stoxx 600 Europe Telecommunications Index has lost a quarter of its value over the past five years, while the NYSE FANG+ Index, which tracks the largest tech stocks, has more than doubled.

It didn’t matter that there was little evidence that the networks were overloaded, or that Netflix was already adjusting video quality to match the capacity of each network. Policymakers were alarmed at the prospect of millions of miles of cable and tens of thousands of antennas in their jurisdictions being at the mercy of Silicon Valley at a time when Europe depended on Internet access to live and work during the Covid 19 blackouts.

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