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 companies 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.
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 & ModerationDr. Michal Boni
SME Connect Special Advisor for Digitalisation and AI;
Member of the European Parliament 2014 – 2019;
First Minister of Administration and Digitalisation of Poland
Opening StatementMichael Jäger
Secretary General of Taxpayers Association of Europe;
Vice-President of German Taxpayers
KeynotesIvan Stefanec MEP
IMCO & ITRE Committees
President of SME Europe of the EPP
SME Connect Board Member
Statements & DebateNina Cummins
Head of Connectivity & Access Policy, EMEA at MetaDr. Jakob GreinerVice President European Affairs at Deutsche TelekomTom Smyth
CEO Wireless Connect LtdLisa Di Feliciantonio
Chief External Relations and Sustainability Officer at FASTWEBCarl Gahnberg
Director of Policy Development and Research at the Internet Society
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