Italy broadly supports proposals at European Union level to ensure that Big Tech firms partly finance telecoms infrastructure in the bloc, Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said in a statement on Tuesday.
“All market players benefiting from the digital transformation must contribute fairly and proportionately to infrastructure costs,” Urso said, intervening at an EU telecoms minister meeting in Leon, Spain.
However, before introducing any legislation, the EU must carefully assess whether and to what extent network infrastructure is effectively overloaded by content and services generated by Big Tech firms, Urso added.
Telecoms companies argue that Alphabet’s Google, Meta’s Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft and Amazon should bear some of the high-speed network rollout costs because they make up a huge part of internet traffic.
Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia (TIM) term it fair-share funding, while Big Tech says it amounts to an internet tax.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton, a former chief executive at France Telecom and supporter of the network operators’ push, will set out a strategy on the subject, leaving it to the new Commission stemming from next year’s European election to decide whether to propose legislation, Reuters reported this month.
“Italy believes the EU Commission should carry out further assessment and more time is needed to evaluate the extent of the impact of traffic generated on the network infrastructure” Urso said. Reuters