“The idea of an Internet Levy is seeking to solve a problem that in reality does not exist. It would increase costs for small businesses, drive up the cost of living for European consumers, undermine net neutrality and Europe’s Digital Decade targets. It is an idea that has been looked at before and rejected, and should be rejected again,” Amazon said in a recent blog which responds to the demand for implementing network usage fees in the European Union (EU). The discussion for imposing such a levy can be traced back to March this year when the EU released a consultation paper discussing whether content platforms should share the costs of telecom infrastructure development with telecom companies. These costs are termed as network usage fees, or, as Amazon calls it, an ‘internet levy’. Why it matters: Just like in the EU, network usage fees are also being debated in India, with India’s telecom regulator, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) publishing a consultation paper on the regulation of OTT communication platforms in July this year. How the EU situation shapes up will set a precedent for the way regulators across the globe will address telcos' demand for network usage fees. Key points raised by Amazon: Content creates demand for data: “Content companies like us create is exactly the sort of thing people want to access and creates the value of the connectivity that telecom operators sell to their customers,” it argued stating that telcos and content platforms share a symbiotic…
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