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Meta Spells Out Absurdity of EU’s Plan to Tax Big Tech for Broadband Expansion

The EU is proposing a telecom-industry-backed plan to effectively tax Big Tech companies, with the intention of throwing that money toward Big Telecom companies for broadband expansion. The proposal is part of the EU’s efforts to craft digital policies for the next few decades, with an eye on shoring up lagging broadband access.

However, the plan has been widely criticized by several groups, including Google and Netflix. Both tech giants have come out swinging against the EU’s Big Tech tax, pointing out how the claim they “don’t pay their fair share” and should be directly responsible for paying to bridge the digital divide is telecom industry nonsense. Facebook/Meta has also recently expressed its opposition, noting that they have invested over $100 billion in global digital infrastructure.

Less stability, increased costs: This sentiment has been echoed by a number of other groups, who have warned that the EU’s plan would simply drive up online costs for consumers, given Big Tech companies would just pass these added costs on to users already paying an arm and a leg for bandwidth. Others have also expressed concern that such a plan could also make the internet less stable as online companies attempt to reroute their traffic around such fees. This has already been seen in South Korea, where telecoms successfully convinced regulators to implement a similar tax on Big Tech companies, and ISPs have since taken to suing Netflix for a bandwidth consumption spike.

What they’re saying: If policymakers were serious about bridging the digital divide, critics suggest that they would instead embrace policies that take aim at concentrated telecom monopoly power, reform telecom subsidy programs, and police fraud by major telecoms. These changes, they argue, are the real solution to bridging the digital divide, and the EU’s proposed plan to tax Big Tech companies is simply a way for telecom giants to offload their network deployment and maintenance costs onto somebody else.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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