5g mobilhalozat halozatfejlesztes mobilszolgaltato telekommuniacio mobilnet 605386

Hungary has become a minority in the EU in the mobile network debate

The majority of the countries of the European Union have rejected the proposal of telecommunications providers to impose a special tax or contribution obligation on large technology companies, such as Google, in order to finance the construction of 5G and broadband networks in the region. At the meeting held with the EU industry leader Thierry Breton, the telecommunications ministers of 18 countries either rejected the imposition of the network fee or requested the preparation of an impact study – reported Reuters.

The group of EU telecommunications regulatory authorities, BEREC, is also against the move, because they believe that this could harm users.

Telecom giants such as Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia have taken the initiative to impose a consent requirement on technology companies and platform providers such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and Microsoft, as they believe that the data traffic of these companies accounts for a significant part of the network load. The companies involved, however, rejected the idea, citing that they are already investing in the digital ecosystem.

The telecommunications ministers who oppose the network tax expressed concerns about the lack of analysis of its effects, but they also dispute that any lack of funds would hinder investments. According to other member states, the imposition of a separate fee may also violate EU net neutrality rules, hinder innovation, and impose additional costs on consumers if tech companies pass on their costs.

Countries such as Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland were among the critics, while countries such as France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Italy and Cyprus supported the proposal.

Thierry Breton is expected to issue a report by the end of June summarizing feedback from technology companies, telecom operators and others, as well as assessing the effects of a special tax on network development. Any related legislative proposal must be negotiated with the EU countries and the legislators before it can become law, according to the current situation, the unified regulation may quickly fail, because behind Germany, several member states have lined up among the critics.

Cover image: Getty Images/Xijian.