Brussels, 18 July 2022 – EU and national associations AOMR (RO), APMS (CZ), AssoTelecomunicazioni (IT), ATI (BG), DigitalES (SP), ETNO (EU), Fédération Française des Télécoms (FR), and the GSMA Europe (EU) released the following Joint Statement at the start of the Czech Presidency of the EU:
Our Associations represent the companies bringing ultrafast digital connectivity to European citizens, across Member States. We are proud of the EU internet ecosystem, of the vibrant community of ICT companies that populate it, and of the hard work that small and big telecom companies do every day to reach every European household across 27 Member States.
We are committed to working tirelessly to achieve the ambitious EU Digital Decade Targets, which include the roll-out of “gigabit connectivity for everyone and 5G everywhere by 2030”. In addition, our member companies are proactively working to support the EU Green Deal objectives, which require full digitalization in order to achieve net zero emissions. These targets are essential in empowering our societies, boosting our national economies and underpinning the twin green-digital transition.
European telecom operators are firmly committed to reach such targets, but their full and speedy achievement across all 27 Member States requires that the responsibility is shared collectively by the entire digital ecosystem.
In this context, we strongly support the EU Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade, which calls for establishing relevant frameworks to ensure a “fair and proportionate contribution” of all players. Similarly, we support the public debate launched by Executive Vice-president Vestager and Commissioner Breton in May 2022 for an open discussion on whether all players currently contribute fairly to the development of digital network infrastructures.
Our Associations ask European policymakers to promote swift policy intervention and to help ensure that big tech companies contribute their fair share to growing the EU Internet ecosystem, especially in the context of continuous data traffic increases. All European network operators investing in gigabit networks – no matter whether alternative or traditional, small or big – should be able to rely on a fair and proportionate contribution by big tech companies to the network costs they generate with their traffic.
Such action can – and should – be achieved in full respect of Europe’s EU Open Internet principles. We expect it to strongly benefit users via network upgrades, to reinforce internet infrastructure and to be fully compatible with unrestricted access to all lawful content and applications on the internet.
We therefore call on Ministers as well as EU policymakers to stand firm in supporting and advancing the principle of “fair and proportionate contribution” and we believe it will be instrumental in sustaining and growing the EU internet ecosystem.
AOMR – Mihai Constantin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
APMS – Jiří Grund (email@example.com)
AssoTelecomunicazioni – Matteo Cecconi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ATI – Andreana Atanasova (email@example.com)
DigitalES – Victor Calvo-Sotelo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ETNO – Alessandro Gropelli (email@example.com); Gabriel Daia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fédération Française des Télécoms – Alice Provost (email@example.com)
GSMA Europe – Michael Witts (firstname.lastname@example.org)