EU To Ban Roaming Charges In 2017 And Proposes Pro-Net Neutrality Law

The European Union will ban roaming charges in 2017, according to a press release on the European Parliament’s official website.

The European Parliament announced that an “informal deal” has been made to ban roaming charges and, even better news, guarantee that all internet traffic is treated equally. This decision will definitely cheer internet users across European Union nations and frequent travelers in the continent.

The press release, however, mentioned that the informal deal “needs to be formally endorsed by the full Parliament and the Council of Ministers” to enter into force to legally ban roaming charges.

Yahoo has mentioned that the agreement was made between the European Union and mobile phone networks – which anyone would be surprised as to how they would agree to a law that would ban roaming charges — or any charges, for that matter.

The current roaming charges in place in Europe are 0.19 and 0.20 euros per minute. A limit will be placed on those charges in April, 2016, capping the rate at 0.05 euros, almost four times less than the current rate. The limit will then continue until the EU completely bans roaming charges on June 15, 2017.

The European Parliament’s press release did mention that though it will ban roaming charges, it still won’t be easy to cheat companies by exploiting the ban.

“However, to protect against abuses such as ‘permanent roaming,’ ” the press release read, “the deal provides for a ‘fair use’ clause (to be defined by the EU Commission and telecoms regulators).”

Tweeps from around the world praised the EU’s decision to ban roaming charges.

David Foster, a public affairs manager, reacted to the decision to ban roaming charges by addressing “EU haters.”

Canadian academic Sarah T. Roberts called on North American countries to follow the EU and ban roaming charges.

CNBC World multimedia journalist Alice Tidey cheered when she heard the news.

Madrid-based writer Alex Barrera expressed his happiness, despite the fact that the decision to ban roaming charges will take effect in 2017.

In addition to the decision to ban roaming charges, the European Parliament has also supported net neutrality in its Tuesday meeting. According to an article by the Wall Street Journal, a proposed law will ensure that internet operators treat all internet traffic equally. The proposed law, which is scheduled to take effect on April 30, 2016, won’t be as good as the net neutrality law introduced in the US.

“The European law, which would take effect as of April 30 next year, is milder than a law recently introduced in the U.S. because it will allow operators to enter into agreements that ensure a minimum Internet quality for special services,” the article stated. “Blocking or restricting Web traffic would also be allowed in some cases.”

If you’re in Europe, what’s your take on the EU’s plan to ban roaming charges? What do you think about the proposed net-neutrality law?