Internet Society Netherlands joins debate Internet Infrastructure Cost Sharing aka Netflix Tax

Internet Society Netherlands (ISOC NL) was invited to join a dedicated call on Wednesday, 15 March at 13:00 UTC on the current policy debate in Europe on the topic of “cost-sharing”. Cost sharing is a debate under different names (“network usage fees”; “sending part pays”; “fair share”), and is centred around proposals that would require online services to contribute to telecom operators’ investments in new infrastructure. The topic is often popularized, and in the Netherlands also known as the Netflix Tax of Internet Service Providers. Internet Society Netherlands Chairman, Ruben Brave and Treasurer Lolke Boonstra joined the debate on behalf of the chapter in the Netherlands. Watch the video here.

In the discussion Chairman Brave raised the following questions which are answered in the video:

  1. How does the cost-sharing proposal exactly relate to the Five critical properties of the Internet and the benefits of the Internet Way of Networking?
  2. Is there a new Internet Society impact brief planned, besides the one already concerning the South Korean “Sender Pays” Rules?
  3. How can we unpack the danger of net neutrality a bit more?
  4. How can we unpack internet fragmentation a bit more?
  5. What can we send EU representatives? Or do we need to focus on Dutch elected?
  6. What can our chapter members concretely do?
  7. What is the ISOC solution to the cost-sharing proposal?
  8. Why we might not contribute further to the debate. Has the Netherlands already contributed enough to the debate?

On the 21st of February, the European Commission announced a public consultation on this topic. We believe it’s critical that as many stakeholders as possible make their voices heard.

The Internet Society is deeply concerned about this debate since such regulations would violate net neutrality and pose a direct threat to the global Internet. Also, the Dutch Government is concerned about the plans of the large European telecom operators to charge tolls on the Internet. 

We have critical updates to share and invite input from our members and partners. In the debate Carl Gahnberg, Director Policy Development & Research at Internet Society International (, shared educational slides on the topic, which can be found here:

Every voice must be heard. We encourage our community and everyone else interested in defending an open Internet to contribute to the public consultation, which is open until 19 May 2023. By speaking up, you can protect the Internet—and make sure it continues to offer opportunities for future generations.

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