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Telecom operators will also be forced to stop blocking or slowing down certain services due to financial reasons or otherwise

Mobile roaming fees for cell phones could be a thing of the past in Europe as a recent vote aims to phase it out by 2016. According to Reuters, the European Parliament voted in favor of ending cell phone roaming fees by 2016 and barring telecom operators from favoring some internet traffic over others.

The lawmakers hope the telecom reform legislation will ban roaming fees across the 28-country European Union by December 2015. They also want the sale of mobile licenses to be more uniform, consumer protections on mobile and broadband contracts to be increased, and to create a single market for telecom services that will also push big operators to invest more in networks.

"This vote is the EU delivering for citizens," said Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for digital affairs.

"This is what the EU is all about - getting rid of barriers to make life easier and less expensive. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind."

[SOURCE: The Guardian]

Telecom operators will also be forced to stop blocking or slowing down certain services due to financial reasons or otherwise. For instance, some telecoms tried to ban Skype -- which allows free calls. 

The telecom companies likely won't go down without a fight, though. The elimination of roaming fees and the allowance of free calls on services like Skype could really hit their bottom line, as charging customers fee after fee proves to be a big money maker.

The telecoms also believe that charging for different services and speeds would help put money toward network upgrades, but those opposed said this would kill the open internet. 

This also certainly goes against the idea of net neutrality, which parliament is trying to maintain with new initiatives.  

The legislation must still be approved by the Council of the European Union, but the Council is expected to make a decision in October.

Source: Reuters

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Europe - Land of the free!
By tayb on 4/4/2014 5:04:58 PM , Rating: 5
Greetings Europe, land of the free, from the United Corporations of America!

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By Natch on 4/5/2014 5:51:54 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, give our corporations a few more years, and they'll have not only a virtual monopoly across the country, but the political power to prevent it from going away. Then we won't worry about such trivial things as roaming fees or net neutrality, since they'll be able to jack their fees up as high as they want, and we won't be able to do a thing to prevent it. Yeah!!

This site either needs an eye rolling emoticon, or a sarcasm font, dang it!

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By FITCamaro on 4/6/2014 10:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
This is sarcasm right?

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By michael67 on 4/8/2014 5:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think its got more truth in it then sarcasm tho.

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By ShieTar on 4/7/2014 9:31:06 AM , Rating: 2
To be honest, the main reason why this law would make sense now is the fact that European telecom industries have been on a merging & buying frenzy. It used to be that my national provider actually had to pay the roaming fee himself to the provider companies in other countries. Now there are only about 3 big companies with actual hardware left all over Europe, collecting roaming fees from the customer for no technical or contractual reason, just to drive up profits.

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By BZDTemp on 4/7/2014 3:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
Only three. Sure there are big players, but I think you need to do a recount because I think you got it wrong.

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By Murloc on 4/7/2014 4:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
well in my country there are only 3 who have hardware.
The others are smaller and rely on the big three.
In Italy there are like 4.

And most companies are in a one-owns-the-other relationship with companies abroad, or have partners and stuff.

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By Strunf on 4/8/2014 7:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
3 per country, that makes quite a few in the EU, if the roaming is for free then I guess one could easily get a cheaper phone provider from another country and use it instead of the national ones.

RE: Europe - Land of the free!
By BZDTemp on 4/7/2014 4:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Please don't confuse the EU with Europe.

The EU is a political+economic union that consists of 28 separate nations and some of the territories isn't even in Europe. Most of the EU members are what you'd call Western European countries to use a term going back to the Cold war, but much has changed since the Wall came down and for instance Ukraine is, mostly, looking towards someday becoming a EU member (which is partly why Russia is going nuts).

Europe is a geographical region just like North America and it includes very different nations than can be found in the EU. Europe is countries like Germany, England, France, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Belarus, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland... and it also includes a chunk of Russia (Moscow is a European city).

By inperfectdarkness on 4/4/2014 3:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
And I would too, except for the fact that the content owners are still in the USA, so we still get the regional-lockout BS. And even using VPN service in europe to access Netflix doesn't fix the problem, since the FCC has decided to give US citizens the middle finger and allow telecoms to openly rape everyone--without even spitting on the hole.

Why do we do this? Why do people/corporations keep treating the world as if we were stuck in the middle of the 20th century? This is the 21st century, and practically everyone has access to virtually everything. Stop with the parochial BS already. The world is global; the economy is global; media content should be global. Period.

And maybe, just maybe, if enough "offensive" videos/music/movies/games make it over to those "intolerant" countries...maybe they'll finally get a clue and get with the modern age.

By Strunf on 4/8/2014 8:16:42 AM , Rating: 2
Moving to Europe would not help you, the problems comes from the big producers like Time Warner or Fox that make Netflix pay at the national level, Netflix would be violating their agreement if they allowed anyone to watch their movies/series outside the US, for Time Warner it's more profitable to negotiate rates at the national level cause it avoids people from getting the cheapest one available, as in if we were to make everything available worldwide nothing would stop Americans from getting a cheaper provider from another country, and that's not very good for Time Warner.

By coburn_c on 4/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Yay!
By winie on 4/4/2014 12:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
they still will. if customers are willing to pay more companies will increase there rates regardless of this law.

By BZDTemp on 4/6/2014 7:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm on a $50 talk unlimited, 1 GB data monthly plan and recently I went from this covering one country to seven countries without a raise in cost. It's just a start but just those countries is gonna make traveling and staying connected a lot cheaper.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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