RLAH (Roam Like at Home proposal by the EU Commission) may move, perhaps to 2018.
The Latvia’s EU Council Presidency is currently illustrating to the various parliamentary committees its priorities.
As far as the Industry, Research and Energy field is concerned, a proposal by the Latvian Presidency may settle the issue of wholesale prices in three years, by maintaining roaming surcharges until 2018. In a talk on Presidency priorities on 21st January Transport Minister Anrijs Matīss said:
“Our approach is to reduce roaming charges gradually, as there are different conditions in the member states”
The new EU Presidency to the EU Council, is Latvia who have just succeeded Italy. Innocenzo Genna, expert policy TLC in Brussels says that the proposal for a draft seems to get
“consensus within the EU Council, as it happened over a long time. Just the opposite of the Italian proposal, received very coldly”.
The Latvian proposal focuses also on Net Neutrality, where the current draft looks very different from the text deliberated by the same Parliament last April 2014. As Innocenzo Genna says,
“The main problem is how to address the so-called “positive discrimination”, also named as “Zero Rating” models. This is the model whereby, in data caps subscriptions (i.e. when the ISP limits the quantitative usage by subscribers), the traffic of some privileged services is discounted by the customer’s allowance.
Users my be induced to use such privileged services for the sample reasons that their traffic data allowance will not be affected, irrespective of the value/quality of the alternatives. Clearly, this is a way permitting an ISP to favor some services (which in return are paying the ISP) while discriminating others.
The impact of this practice on the market will probably depends on the level of the allowance, the price structure of the offers and mainly with respect to traffic-consuming services such (as streaming). The worst scenario (if any) would consist in a 2-tier Internet environment: by using the positive discrimination, dominant ISP could create a basket of premium services which subscribers will normally use, unless they prefer to use alternative services whose traffic, however, must be counted in the normal allowance”.
Three-party talks (Parliament, Council and Commission) could be held In March with the aim of approving the directive by July.
Federica Romano, Head of Regulation, ROCCO, 29 Jan 2015
To learn more about the Roaming Regulation in Europe, go to our Roaming Regulation page.