* EU telecoms providers want online content providers to
share network costs
* U.N. agency to meet in December to revise 1988 rules
* Not clear if telcos can get Google, Apple, Yahoo to pay up
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, June 11 EU telecoms lobbying group
ETNO has called on the United Nations to adopt rules making it
easier for telecoms operators and web content providers such as
Google to share the bill for upgrading networks
struggling with data-heavy Internet applications.
ETNO, whose members include Deutsche Telekom,
Telecom Italia, Telefonica and France
Telecom's Orange, tabled its proposals to U.N. agency
the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Delegations from ITU's 193 member countries will meet in
Dubai in December to revise rules first written in 1988.
The rules should be updated to take into account the
explosion of data on telecoms providers' networks in the last
two decades and the constraint this poses on the infrastructure,
said ETNO head Luigi Gambardella.
"The revised rules should acknowledge the challenges of the
new Internet economy and the principles that fair compensation
is received for carried traffic and operators' revenues should
not be disconnected from the investment needs caused by rapid
Internet traffic growth," Gambardella said in a statement.
ETNO's (the European Telecommunications Network Operators
Association) call comes as Europe's telecom sector grapples with
falling revenues which have hit the shares of leaders such as
Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom, both of which are at their
lowest in a decade.
The sector also faces pressure from EU regulators to roll
out high-speed broadband networks.
However, it is far from certain whether telecoms providers
would have the leverage to charge Google, Apple or
Yahoo for disseminating their material even if the U.N.
adopts ETNO's proposal.