EU telco giants baulk at open networks

European telecom giants Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom and Vivendi are expected to resist plans for open fiber networks during a meeting with EU telecom commissioner Neelie Kroes today.
 
Executives from the three companies have prepared a list of suggestions on spurring investment in high speed networks, as alternatives to the EC's open networks proposal, NY Times reported
 
Kroes aims for the EU to have universal 30Mbps fiber coverage - with 50% of households having access to 100Mbs - by 2020.
 
One proposal to help stimulate fiber rollouts is to court investment for fiber networks that act somewhat like public utilities, allowing smaller competitors to lease capacity.
 
But incumbents are already proving reluctant to invest in rolling out fiber because of the risk of seeing inadequate returns.
 
The three companies may also use the meeting to press for the ability to charge content providers for the traffic delivered over their networks .
 
FT.com claims that the CEOs of each have prepared a report arguing that network operators should be free to pursue business models that go against the net neutrality principles championed by the likes of Google.
 
They are expected to argue that new revenue streams will be needed to compensate for the anticipated cost of fiber rollouts.
 

Kroes has signalled her commitment to net neutrality, and late last month launched a consultation on planned neutrality regulations.

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