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European Union tries, fails to agree on roaming rates

Chris Ziegler

For a good percentage of chatters in these parts, roaming is very rarely a concern; modern rate plans have been constructed in such a way that even if you are roaming from time to time, you don't notice -- not even when your bill arrives. For Europeans, though, you can imagine that roaming might suck, seeing how you've got all those countries in pretty tight quarters. The European Union met recently in an effort to agree on caps for international roaming rates (and whether consumers should automatically be moved to the new pricing structures), but -- surprise, surprise -- representatives came away empty-handed. At issue seems to be the fact that the European Parliament wants rates capped at 40 euro cents (about $0.54) per minute for making calls and 15 euro cents (about $0.20) for receiving them, while constituent nations are gunning for something a little higher. Carriers, naturally, don't want hard caps at all, citing the stifling effect they'll allegedly have on infrastructure development, but at any rate, the EU's getting back together on May 2 to have another go at the negotiations. Good luck, guys!


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