A decision by the European Commission (EC) on whether to propose legislation forcing large content companies to contribute to mobile operator network costs was deemed unlikely until 2025, Reuters reported.

Citing undisclosed sources, the news website claimed having gathered initial feedback as part of a wider consultation into the communications sector in the European Union (EU), a broad EC strategy on the issue was likely to be proposed during 2024.

However, with the incumbent commissioners’ current five-year term expiring in November of that year, a decision on whether to float legislation in this area would probably have to wait until the EC’s next term.

Reuters sources noted there had been an expectation the current European Commissioner for the internal market Thierry Breton (pictured) would set the process in motion during this term.

The issue of large content providers paying a so-called fair share contribution to mobile operators for network costs has been a huge industry issue so far this year, with the conversation dominating MWC Barcelona 2023 and various strongly-worded statements from both sides being issued since.

Unsurprisingly, arguments for the contribution have been pushed strongest by the mobile industry with major players highlighting financial pressures from facilitating a relentless increase in demand for data. Several content providers have rubbished the idea of a levy, arguing they already provide contributions.

There are also supporters and detractors for fair share from politicians and regulators on the continent, meaning any proposed legislation is not guaranteed to get through the EU political system.