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European Commission proposal would end some roaming fees, enshrine net neutrality


The rumors were on the mark -- as part of a larger telecom plan, the European Commission's Neelie Kroes has proposed regulation that would largely scrap roaming fees. The measure would ban all charges for incoming calls within the EU after July 1st next year, and give carriers incentives to drop many other roaming fees altogether. Companies would either have to let customers use "roam like at home" plans in EU countries or offer a choice of roaming providers with cheap rates. Outbound, mobile-to-mobile calls within member states would cost no more than €0.19 per minute.

The strategy also includes rules for enforcing net neutrality across the EU. The proposal bans internet providers from blocking and throttling content. Firms could offer priority services like IPTV only as long as these features don't slow down other subscribers, who could walk away from contracts if they don't get their advertised speeds. There's no guarantee that the European Parliament will vote in favor of the new measures, but it's already clear that the Commission is far from happy with the telecom status quo.

[Image credit: The Council of the European Union]

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