From months back LIRNEasia’s focus was on the economic aspects of the WCIT proposals, specifically the mad proposal floated by ETNO to impose access charges on data flowing into a network, the sending-party-network-pays principle. This is the real debate in Dubai according to even early apologists for the ITU.
More energy is expected to be spent on how companies make money off the Internet. In one submission to the conference, the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, a lobbying group based in Brussels that represents companies like France Télécom, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia, proposed that network operators be permitted to assess charges for content providers like Internet video companies that use a lot of bandwidth.
Analysts say the proposal is an acknowledgment by European telecommunications companies that they cannot hope to provide digital content. “The telecoms realize that they have lost the battle,” said Paul Budde, an independent telecommunications analyst in Australia. “They are saying, ‘We can’t beat the Googles and the Facebooks, so let’s try to charge them.’ ”