European Union vote clears the way to end roaming charges, enforce net neutrality
Free roaming within the European Union is a step closer today, after the European parliament voted in favor of laws that would abolish roaming fees between EU member states, as part of a package of telecom reforms. The package, originally proposed by EU lawmaker Neelie Kroes, moves Europe closer to a single market for mobile communication, especially with the recent arrival of 4G LTE roaming agreements between European carriers.
Should it pass muster with ministers from member nations, Europeans can look forward to roaming charges becoming a thing of the past. GigaOm reports that after clearing this final hurdle, European roaming fees could be eliminated by the end of 2015. It's worth remembering, however, that this would only affect subscribers to European mobile networks, not those from outside the EU roaming within Europe.
The EU telecoms package also included strong protections for net neutrality, making it illegal for network providers to block or impose speed restrictions on data based on the sender or recipient. It's a major victory for tech firms in Europe considering the recent setbacks faced by net neutrality in the U.S.