Operators lobby EU for ability to charge for content delivery

A report from European mobile industry heavyweights will ask the EU to allow operators to charge content providers for delivery of the content. The aim of the report, drawn up by Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom and Vivendi, is to alert the EU to the huge investment needed to meet the ambitious broadband targets likely to be imposed by the European body.

The key message within the report, albeit probably disguised, will back calls to charge content providers for the delivery of high-quality--but bandwidth-hungry--video material to consumers.

European operators say there is a need for them to establish new revenue streams to justify building fibre optic broadband networks to support services such as HD mobile video. McKinsey, the consulting firm, has estimated an EU-wide network to support this could cost €300 billion.

What is also expected to be included within the report is support for new operator business models that lift restrictions on the development and deployment of new business models. However, the study is also likely to support keeping the current "best efforts" for delivering content to users unwilling to pay extra for a higher quality of service.

This effort by Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom and Vivendi was triggered following a meeting in March called by Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner responsible for telecoms, and leading executives from about 40 companies. Kroes called for "concrete proposals" on how Europe could accelerate the construction of high speed broadband networks to hit the target of around 50 per cent of all European homes having access to 100Mbps by 2020.

For more:
- see this Financial Times article
- see the New York Times article

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