Telecoms industry bodies the GSMA and ETNO, and national telecoms associations piled more pressure on the European Commission to encourage big technology companies to contribute to deploying the infrastructure which underpins streaming services and other data traffic.

In a joint statement released to mark the start of the Czech Republic’s Presidency of the European Union (EU), the GSMA and ETNO called for swift intervention over the contribution US tech companies make to the region’s connectivity.

The groups called for a “fair contribution” to the deployment of network infrastructure, “especially in the context of continuous data traffic increases”.

In addition to GSMA and ETNO, the statement was signed by the Asociatia Operatorilor Mobili din Romania (AOMR), Czech association Asociace provozovatelu mobilnich siti (APMS), Italian group AssoTelecomunicazioni, ATI in Bulgaria, DigitalES of Spain, and the Federation Francaise des Telecoms.

The industry bodies noted telecoms operators are committed to reaching targets set out in the EU Digital Decade, including the rollout of “gigabit connectivity for everyone and 5G everywhere by 2030”. However, they stressed such ambitions can only be attained if the “responsibility is shared collectively by the entire digital ecosystem”.

Regular refrain
The European telecoms industry regularly calls on politicians to do more to encourage big tech to invest in digital infrastructure.

In May, the GSMA warned market imbalances between network operators and online services providers could stall growth in several sectors of the internet-based economy.

More than a dozen major European operators urged US tech giants to contribute in covering costs for deploying networks in late 2021.

The GSMA and ETNO welcomed the recent adoption of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) by the European Parliament, noting they will help reduce the spread of illegal content online and ensure greater fairness in digital markets.