July 2022

Decoding the Internet Traffic Tax

The European telecommunications sector says it is starved of the cash it needs to invest. And they have a novel solution: they have proposed a new levy on “internet traffic tax” on “over-the-top” services – like search and video – which would see leading platforms kicking in as much as €20 billion – all in the form of direct payments to leading telcos for building out new networks and agreeing to transmit data over existing telecommunications lines. Is this the right approach for Europe? At this high-level roundtable, leading telco sector experts, regulators, digital-economy activists and digital-rights NGOs convened to debate the pros and cons of this new levy on Internet traffic – one that would fall on the supply side on top of the demand side, where customers already pay. Thomas Lohninger, executive director, epicenter.works; Lukas Wiewiorra, director, markets and perspectives at Wik-Consult GmbH; and Carlota Reyners Fontana, head of unit, electronic communications policy at the directorate-general for communications networks, content and technology, European Commission, joined an all-star roundtable for a wide ranging debate. Brian Williamson, partner at Communications Chambers, used the occasion to launch The Internet Traffic Tax and Europe’s Digital Transformation, a new study analysing the merits of the telco proposal and providing a highly-evidenced view of the changing economics in the data economy and telco sector.

Download Brian Williamson/Communications Chambers Study

Download WIK Consult GmbH Study for Bundesnetzagentur (Germany)