An internet traffic tax is a harmful solution to a non-existent problem

May 24, 2023 | News, Position Paper

Recently, the European Commission’s consultation regarding ‘The future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure‘ has concluded. The consultation was particularly controversial because it contained questions regarding the  idea of large ISPs that big data and application providers should pay them internet traffic fees for the use of their infrastructure.

Since the arguments for such a proposal have been repeatedly refuted by a plethora of well-respected actors in the wider internet ecosystem, in our response to the consultation, we focused specifically on the negative effects on Cloud Infrastructure Service providers (CISPs) and Content Distribution Networks (CDN). CISPE is opposed to internet traffic fees and foresees unique and far-reaching negative impacts should such a proposal be applied particularly to cloud services.

Besides underlining that CISPs and CDNs are not content providers and therefore must be clearly ruled out of scope, CISPE is also concerned that such a proposal could have a strong negative impact on European companies and customers:

  1. It would be lead to higher prices and therefore would constitute a hidden ‘consumer tax’
  2. It would jeopardise the EU’s sustainability objectives by slowing down the transition to more energy-efficient cloud solutions
  3. It would threaten the EU’s digitalisation targets by hindering CAPEX investments by CISPs
  4. It would distort competition in favour of large ISPs against smaller ones, as well as large content providers against their smaller competitors
  5. It would allow telcos to further leverage their termination monopoly

You can read our full position paper on the link below: