At ROCCO HQ this morning, we were awoken by the following article which highlights the inevitable shift of focus from roaming to domestic pricing which is already starting to emerge across the EU.
Half way through the article is a classic UK press comment “If the measures go through, British holidaymakers will be able to browse the internet and download films on their phones at no extra cost from June 2017.”
We’re pretty sure, no one expects Roamers to get unlimited downloads from next April, but the press’s job here is to provoke. What’s your view?
Ukip MEPs hope to kill proposals to end holiday roaming fees, arguing it penalising those who do not travel.
Plans to end mobile roaming charges for holiday makers face being killed by MEPs tomorrow, in what would be a setback for David Cameron’s drive to keep Britain in the European Union.
The Prime Minister has held up plans to allow holiday makers to call and use data for the same price anywhere in Europe as a reason to stay in the European Union, saying it is proof that Britain can lobby for change in Brussels.
But the plan risks being felled at the final hurdle by Ukip and Green MEPs at a vote in the European Parliament, which is said to be being watched nervously by UK officials.
Roger Helmer, a Ukip MEP, has tabled an amendment to kill the package, claiming that eliminating roaming charges will drive up bills overall, penalising those who do not travel.
He also said it would increase the power of the European Commission, and therefore should be opposed on principle.
“UKIP objects to the creation of further EU regulation, especially when the unelected Commission proposes bad law,” said Mr Helmer. ‘Ukip call themselves the people’s army, but the truth is their plans would put millions of people out of pocket’
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder
“The bottom line is the customer always pays, and while this regulation favours frequent travellers, we believe that telecom companies will compensate for their loss of revenue by bumping up charges for domestic users who mostly use their phone in the UK.”
“Scrapping roaming fees in Europe would be a massive win for British consumers,”
said Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP.
“Ukip call themselves the people’s army, but the truth is their plans would put millions of people out of pocket.”
The end of roaming charges faces a more significant challenge from MEPs who fear the other measures in the digital reforms package endanger net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers should not favour established sites against new rivals.
As many as 280 MEPS out of the Strasbourg assembly’s 750 are prepared to vote down the package under a campaign led by Green MEPs, insiders said, sending the plan to end roaming charges back to the drawing board. It means that its survival will like depend on a strong turnout among supporters.Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the web, is among those who have spoken out against the plans.
If the measures go through, British holidaymakers will be able to browse the internet and download films on their phones at no extra cost from June 2017.
As an interim deal, roaming charges will become cheaper from April next year, when operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic prices of up to 3p per minute of call made, 1p per SMS sent, and 3p per MB of data, excluding VAT.
As part of the compromise, telephone providers will still be able to cap the amount of time that customers can use their phones abroad at a flat rate under a “fair use” policy.
The measure will prevent people from buying a cheap phone contract in a poorer state to use at home, where prices are higher.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the business minister, said last month the proposed deal
“shows that the UK can deliver real reform in the EU to produce real benefits to consumers in Britain.”
Source: The Telegraph