La batalla de la banda ancha en Europa

LONDRES – Entre los muchos desafíos a que se enfrenta la nueva Comisión Europea está determinar cómo proporcionar acceso a Internet de banda ancha ultrápido a los quinientos millones de residentes de la Unión Europea sin aumentar los impuestos o llevar a la quiebra a las empresas de telecomunicaciones del continente. Este imperativo ha conducido a que muchas personas exijan mayores contribuciones de gigantes de Internet como Google, Netflix y Facebook, a los que frecuentemente se crítica por no hacer suficientes esfuerzos –e incluso se ataca y califica como “ventajistas” decididos a saquear los activos y mercados europeos. ¿Tienen fundamentos estas críticas?

En resumen, no. La realidad es que las compañías de Internet más importantes –la mayoría de las cuales tienen su sede en Estados Unidos– ya están contribuyendo con miles de millones de dólares al establecimiento y mantenimiento de las redes y centros de información que son esenciales para el funcionamiento de Internet.

De hecho, estas empresas invirtieron directamente más de 75.000 millones de euros (cien mil millones de dólares) en infraestructura para Internet en los últimos tres años y su gasto aumentó aproximadamente un 10% al año en este periodo. Además, participaron en consorcios que invirtieron más de 500 millones de euros para instalar un cable de fibra óptica submarino a través del Pacífico, que ha estado en funcionamiento desde 2010, y un cable de 8.300 kilómetros (5.200 millas) desde el sureste de Asia hasta Japón que empezó a funcionar el año pasado.

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