Senior executives from Meta Platforms slammed European operator calls for content providers to contribute to network costs, claiming proposals were based on a false premise, along with branding suggestions of future capacity issues caused by the metaverse as nonsense.

In a rebuttal to ongoing pressure from players in the mobile sector, Meta Platforms VP network Kevin Salvadori and Bruno Cendon Martin, senior director wireless technologies at Meta Reality Labs, stated attempts to impose a levy on the company and its peers was not the answer to operators’ financial problems.

“Network fee proposals are built on a false premise because they do not recognise the value that content application providers create for the digital ecosystem, nor the investments we make in the infrastructure that underpins it,” the pair stated.

Among the many grievances highlighted are comments from some mobile operators the executives claimed “justified network fee proposals by speculating about capacity constraints caused by metaverse adoption”, noting “this is nonsense.”

“The development of the metaverse will not require telecom operators to grow capital expenditures for greater network investment,” the pair added, claiming adoption will be driven by VR for the foreseeable future, which is currently served by fixed networks and Wi-Fi.

“These fixed networks are already established across the majority of Europe and carry almost 20-times the traffic of mobile networks,” they wrote, claiming current easily-upgradable fixed infrastructure on the continent was enough to support expected traffic including the metaverse for decades to come.

The Meta Platforms’ representatives also pointed to the “tens of billions” of euros it invests in its apps and platforms, explaining its products are “creating the demand that allows telecom operators to charge people for internet access”.

“Our investment in content literally drives the revenue and business model of telecom operators.”

The Meta Platforms’ executives also highlighted its investments with partners in infrastructure, including submarine cables.

Citing Analysys Mason figures, they said over the last ten years Meta Platforms and its peers had invested more than $880 billion in global digital infrastructure they claim saved operators around $6 billion per year.

Meta Platforms noted it had invested more than $100 billion of capex and opex in global digital infrastructure since 2017, with billions of this in Europe.

The comments come less than a month after the European Commission opened a broad consultation which invited comments on the issue.

Since then, the so-called fair share debate was a massive talking point at MWC23 Barcelona, with several operators calling for action and content giant Netflix providing the case for big tech.