EP VOTES FOR END OF ROAMING CHARGES

imagesThe end of roaming will materialize in 2017 after the agreement of the European Parliament (EP), who also gave a favorable opinion to measures for net neutrality.

MEPs voted against amendments to the telecoms single market legislation, thus adopting the new law without last minute changes filed against the measures on net neutrality. The legislative package also includes popular measures to end roaming charges of mobile phones in the EU.

During the plenary debate this Tuesday (27), some MEPs argued in favor of the adoption of a compromise agreement without amendment to enter into force rapidly. The draft was approved in June between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council.

The law will now be discussed by BEREC (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association), the telecoms regulatory authority, before being applied in Member States. The net neutrality rules included in the law, will prevent Internet service providers to block Internet traffic, unless the law obliges them or must decongest the network. However, the rules also allow companies to provide better Internet bandwidth for “specialised services” and these were strongly criticized.

Roaming charges of mobile phones should be abolished by 2017 and a first lower tariff for calls, SMS and data will be applied in April next year.

ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association), the European association representing telecoms companies, said in a statement that the quality of network and services would benefit consumers.