The consultation, which was launched by the European Commission and led by Breton, is part of a broader effort to ensure that Europe’s digital infrastructure is fit for purpose. It seeks to explore how different players in the telecommunications industry can contribute to improving access to high-speed internet and other services. The consultation will consider a range of options, including ways for Big Tech companies such as Google and Apple.
The consultation also aims to provide greater clarity on the roles of different players in the European digital economy and how they can cooperate to promote innovation.
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This includes a review of existing rules and regulations, such as those related to competition, data protection, copyright and liability. It pits Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, Telecom Italia against Google, Apple, Meta, Netflix, Amazon and Microsoft.
The European Union official said he did not see the issue as “a binary choice between those who provide networks today and those who feed them with the traffic”.
“For me the real challenge is to make sure that by 2030 our fellow citizens and business on our streets across the EU – including here in Barcelona – have access to fast, reliable and data-intense Gigabit connectivity,” Breton said in the text of a speech to be delivered at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in the Spanish city.
The consultation also seeks to ensure fair competition between the different players in the European digital economy. This includes examining how regulation and incentives can be used to create a level playing field for all companies, large and small, regardless of their size or market power.