Wednesday, 19 March 2014

MEPs say NO to roaming and YES to open internet

European Parliament's ITRE Committee agreed with the Commission's proposal of the new Telecoms Regulation (see our previous post: Major telecom sector reform), which among others intends to end roaming charges and prohibit blocking and degrading of online content (e.g. internet providers will not be allowed to block or slow down your access to and use of Skype), guaranteeing net neutrality. (Industry MEPs want stricter rules against blocking rival services) The Regulation will be voted on by the EP Plenary on 3 April and then needs to be approved by the Council. (EP committee vote takes us one step closer to ending roaming charges in the EU) If all goes well then as of 15 December 2015 phone users will stop noticing a difference in the price of phone calls when they are at home and when they are abroad. The EU has successfully lowered roaming charges already - roaming costs are ca 80% cheaper than in 2007, but the Commission intends to eliminate them altogether (MEPs call it a day on roaming charges).

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