O2 UK CEO: 'Charge content providers for network traffic'

Worried about being overwhelmed by the growth in mobile data traffic, the CEO of O2 UK, Ronan Dunne, wants to charge content providers for traffic generated by their websites and services.

Presenting at a London broadband event, Dunne suggested that some content providers might want to "pay for carriage themselves" in order to provide a better quality of service over a mobile network than their rivals provide. The CEO believes that a move to this model would be "evolving the ecosystem" around content delivery.

"If consumers alone are paying, it's hard to see where the incentive is for content providers to use networks efficiently," Dunne said, adding that he wanted "big companies" to pay their share. Denying that asking content providers to pay would upset the current egalitarian approach to mobile broadband traffic, Dunne maintained that competition would help O2 to ensure that democracy does continue to thrive on the internet.

While operators have currently resisted the move to ask content providers for payment, earlier this year Vodafone's CEO, Vittorio Colao, suggested that customers should be allowed to pay more if they wanted a higher throughput over the mobile network.

The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom and the European Commission have both recently completed consultations on the issue of net neutrality, but neither has reported back yet.

For more:
- see this ZDnet article

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