How do Telecoms Network Fees Impact European SMEs, Consumers and Taxpayers?

In recent months, large telecom operators have been calling for a proposal for large tech companies to pay a fee to telecoms companiesĀ  for their continued operation of broadband to end users. While to some this proposal could be a significant step towards ensuring a level playing field for the wider ecosystem, it also raises some valid questions regarding its potential impact on EU taxpayers, consumers, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Since large tech companies may pass on the burden of cost of their contributions, it could potentially affect a higher cost for consumers. There is also no limitation to who these network fees could apply to in the future.Ā 

Furthermore, majority of SMEs have no positions regarding the policy due to lack of knowledge. Should SMEs be concerned that it could put them at a disadvantage, as they may not have the same level of resources as larger tech companies to comply with the proposed regulations, which could lead to a situation where SMEs are effectively priced out of the market, leading to less competition and ultimately less choice for consumers.

This roundtable brings together industry leaders, policymakers and civil society to present arguments from all sides and discuss what the impact could be for all stakeholders involved, especially SMEs, Taxpayers and Consumers, with the objective to ensure that any policy proposal in this regard is ultimately in the best interests of the EU and its citizens.

  • Welcome & Moderation

    Dr. Michal Boni

    SME Connect Special Advisor for Digitalisation and AI;

    Member of the European Parliament 2014 ā€“ 2019;

    First Minister of Administration and Digitalisation of Poland

  • Opening Statement

    Michael JƤger

    Secretary General of Taxpayers Association of Europe;

    Vice-President of German Taxpayers

  • Keynotes

    Ivan Stefanec MEP

    IMCO & ITRE Committees

    President of SME Europe of the EPP

    SME Connect Board Member

  • Statements & Debate

    Nina Cummins

    Head of Connectivity & Access Policy, EMEA at Meta

    Dr. Jakob Greiner
    Vice President European AffairsĀ at Deutsche Telekom
    Tom Smyth

    CEO Wireless Connect Ltd

    Lisa Di Feliciantonio

    Chief External Relations and Sustainability Officer at FASTWEB

    Carl Gahnberg

    Director of Policy Development and Research at the Internet Society

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