Analysis of the FFT Sender Party Network Pays proposal

In the European Union (EU), representative bodies of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as ETNO (the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association), have recently reopened the debate requesting that Content and Application Providers (CAPs) pay a content levy of sorts for traffic routed to the ISPs’ networks. We describe this as a “Sender Party Network Pays” (SPNP) model. Their request is based on the idea that exponential growth in traffic demanded by the ISPs broadband customers leads to incremental costs for ISPs.

In this context, the Fédération Française des Télécoms (FFT) has issued a note titled “For a fair contribution of large bandwidth users to network financing”. Our paper focuses on discussing the FFT’s arguments and on showing that their proposal has been developed on fragile or debatable bases of reasoning. It details the extent to which it would lead to negative outcomes and why it would be challenging to implement on regulatory and legal points of views.