Netherlands against charging Netflix, other streaming services for internet traffic
The Dutch government is against European plans to allow telecom companies to impose an extra charge on streaming services like Netflix and other services that lead to a lot of internet traffic. Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs said such a “toll” would only benefit the telecom companies. Consumers would likely end up paying more, NOS reports.
Telecom companies want to impose this extra charge on popular streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, and Viaplay because they heavily burden the network. According to telecom companies, they can use the extra money to invest in new digital infrastructure. The European Commission likes the idea and recently launched a consultation on the topic.
But the Dutch government is hesitant. According to Adriaansens, streaming services will likely pass on the extra charge to consumers, who will end up paying more when they already pay the telecom companies for access to the internet. That means telecom providers get paid twice for the same internet usage, Adriaansens said.
The Minister commissioned economists from the Oxera bureau to research the European “toll.” They found that it “will not directly lead to extra investments in the construction or quality of digital infrastructure.” The Minister sent the results to parliament and the European Commission “to express Dutch concerns.”
The Netherlands also worries that the plans conflict with net neutrality - a 2015 agreement that states telecom companies are not allowed to block, slow down, or impose separate rates for internet traffic for different services. “All things considered, the Cabinet argues that this is not the right path to realize the European digitization ambitions,” the Dutch Economic Affairs Minister said.