In deal that is great news for consumers and travellers, a settlement has been reached to phase out data roaming charges across Europe within two years.
The agreement, involving the European Commission, Council and Parliament, means that charges will be significantly cut next summer and from June 15, 2017, we will pay the same price for calls, texts and mobile data irrespective of whether they are at home or travelling in the EU.
Sajjad and his Conservative colleagues in the European Parliament have continually pushed for this. “It’s been a tough battle but eventually we have an agreement to end this unfair practice that we’ve been trying to get rid of for so long” said Sajjad.
“It removes another barrier to a true single digital market in Europe, helps Britain be more competitive and is good news for consumer and businesses.”
The ‘Telecoms Single Market’ package has to be ratified by ministers and the European Parliament and does contain some areas of concern. In particular the Net Neutrality provisions meaning telecoms operators have to treat all internet traffic equally and that blocking would only be allowed for specific reasons, such as counter cyber-attacks or child pornography. This should benefit small companies as the service providers can no longer give priority to the multi-nationals.
Specific exemptions for spam filtering and parental controls can be brought in under national law, and governments have until the end of 2016 to pass legislation enabling the status quo to continue.
“Our team worked overnight with experts from the UK to achieve this solution which will enable the UK to continue with parental controls on the internet.
Commenting Sajjad said “This will eliminate the fear of returning from holiday with to a bill you didn’t expect and can’t afford. Many of us switch off our mobile phones when abroad to avoid unexpected charges. Now we will be able to use our phones and tablets more regularly when travelling, also providing more opportunities for online businesses to provide services to travellers across the EU.