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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

European Commission plans to remove roaming charges and protect net neutrality

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has used his 2013 ‘State of the Union’ speech today to announce plans to reduce phone charges, cut red tape and introduce new consumer rights.

The main parts of the ‘Connected Continent’ package are

  • Simplifying EU rules for telecoms operators across all 28 member states
  • Banning incoming mobile phone call charges while travelling in the EU from July 2014, with mobile networks either offering the same rate across Europe or allowing customers to choose a separate roaming provider without needing a new SIM card
  • Cutting the cost of international fixed-line and mobile calls within Europe
  • Providing legal protection for internet neutrality
  • Introducing new consumer rights across Europe for telephone and internet agreements
  • Coordinated cross-border spectrum assignment for 4G and WiFi networks

Neelie Kroes, EC Vice President and the Digital Agenda Commissioner who’ll be responsible for the package, said “The legislation proposed today is great news for the future of mobile and internet in Europe. The European Commission says no to roaming premiums, yes to net neutrality, yes to investment, yes to new jobs. Fixing the telecoms sector is no longer about this one sector but about supporting the sustainable development of all sectors.”

[Neelie Kroes blog]

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