Telcos try to blackmail the EU

KraysEuropean telcos are having a go at blackmailing the EU by saying they will only bring in 5G if the community abandons its net neutrality rules.

A group of 20 major telcos including Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Vodafone, and BT has said that it will launch 5G networks in every country in the European Union by 2020 — so long as governments decide to weaken net neutrality rules.

In a pretty blunt and open extortion plan called the “5G Action Plan.” They say that 5G will change the world giving shedloads of benefits in cars, health, public safety, smart city, and entertainment scenarios by 2018. To add insult to injury they also want the EU to invest in it.

However the companies are also pushing for what they call the “right regulatory environment,” which would involve addressing the “dangers” that would come with open internet policies.

“The EU must reconcile the need for open Internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation. The telecom industry warns that current net neutrality guidelines, as put forward by BEREC [the Body of European Regulators], create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment. Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it.”

“The EU must reconcile the need for open internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation.””

So far the EU has already told the telcos to sling their hook and rejected amendments to legislation passed last fall that would have protected net neutrality in Europe. The laws currently feature loopholes that allow so-called “specialised services” like self-driving cars and medical operation to hop onto internet fast lanes.

So far supporters of the manifesto include companies like Airbus, Siemens, and Phillips. The EU’s Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Gunther Oettinger, praised the document, stating, “The manifesto is a valuable input for the 5G action plan that will be presented in September, together with the proposal for the review of the telecom regulatory framework.”

However, we are not quite sure if he read it properly. Unless the telcos can make commissioners interested in their plan to hold the web hostage it is pretty likely that the EU will see it in the following manner – the telcos will make a fortune out of 5G and it is in their competitive interest to adopt the technology as soon as possible. They can did this with or without an open internet and it is better for EU citizens to have an open internet.

This does not apply to the UK of course. Now it has Brexited, it no longer has any protection from the telco gangsters.