European telecom companies should be free to develop new business models, including charging online content providers for delivering their material to consumers, a new report by the chief executives of Deutshe Telekom, Vivendi and Alcatel-Lucent will suggest.

The position paper comes as the European Commission is looking into broadband investment policies in the EC, with some suggesting investment will lag because of inadequate profit potential from “commodity” Internet access. The outcome of the EC rulemaking could have implications for policy in other regions as well.

The report will support operator attempts to create some sort of carrier compensation paid to carriers by online content providers for delivering their bandwidth-hungry video material to consumers, presumably with quality of service assurances.

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McKinsey, the consulting firm, has estimated the cost of broadband upgrades at €300bn ($421bn) across the EU, an amount that carriers obviously would have to recoup from end user service, partner revenues or other sources.

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