The social media giant has entered the ‘fair contribution’ debate, criticising plans to make tech companies pay for network infrastructure costs is not the solution
The company, in a post titled ‘Network fee proposals are based on a false premise’, argues that the proposals don’t recognise that ‘its investments in content drive the business model of telecom operators’ and point to the investments in network infrastructure it’s already engage in, which run to tens of billions of dollars.
The post, co-authored by Kevin Salvadori, VP Network and Bruno Cendon Martin, Director & Head of RL Wireless, argues that ‘proposals by some European telecom operators to impose network fees on Content Application Providers (CAPs) such as Meta are not the solution. Network fee proposals are built on a false premise because they do not recognise the value that CAPs create for the digital ecosystem, nor the investments we make in the infrastructure that underpins it.’
In short, Meta argues that without the content customers would want to access, there would be less demand for high-speed, high-capacity networks – as well as Meta’s own high levels of investment into internet infrastructure, including undersea cables and what it terms a ‘content delivery network’ which included ‘an extensive European fibre network’, which operators are not charged for.
Meta’s rebuttal of the proposals is the latest in the growing debate around proposals to charge tech companies a ‘fair share’ for operating their services over telecoms networks within the European Union – but wherever you fall on the issue, the underlying issues driving the debate remain.
The European Commission’s ultimate decision on the issue will be watched with interest in both Europe and Silicon Valley – and the debate is likely to continue to run and run.