A group representing national regulators from European countries positioned itself against mobile operators calling for large content providers to contribute to network costs, arguing the proposal could present risks to the internet ecosystem.

In preliminary findings, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) voiced cynicism expensive network upgrades were needed to handle increased IP traffic volume, which is one of the arguments for so-called big tech to contribute.

BEREC asserted the proportion of upgrade costs related to traffic volume increases were “very low”, noting the majority of spend in this area was related to extending coverage.

In its report into the issue and potential imposition of related regulation, the organisation argued there must be “adequate justification for intervening in the market”.

It also claimed a model where content providers pay for access “provide ISPs the ability to exploit the termination monopoly and it is conceivable that that such a significant change could be of significant harm to the internet ecosystem”.

BEREC also gave credence to the argument large platforms had made investments to bring their own infrastructure “closer to ISPs” alongside having the ability to optimise data efficiency of services.

Big-name operators and industry associations have recently upped calls for large technology players to help fund communications infrastructure within the European Union.

The issue is set to be assessed by the European Commission in 2023.