Category Archives: Digital Single Market

The abolition of mobile roaming charges and Brexit

7003178857_e620a54a10_m
© Garry Knight. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Since 15 June 2017 roaming charges in the EU have been abolished allowing mobile customers to use their network provider’s allowance of minutes, text messages and data throughout the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) without incurring additional charges.

The abolition of roaming charges will continue to apply in the UK until it leaves the EU.

A new House of Commons Library briefing paper, available here, looks at possible scenarios after Brexit.

The factsheets below, produced by the European Commission, explain the current pre-Brexit situation.

Roaming factsheet: TechnicalroamingfactsheetEN

Roam Like at Home FAQs: RoamLikeatHomeEN

However, as this BBC article explains, customers are still liable for extra charges if they exceed their contractually agreed data usage limits.

 

 

 

Estonia takes over the EU Council Presidency

Talinn
© TausP. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Estonia assumed the presidency of the European Council on the 1st of July.  A position it will hold for six months. This is the first time Estonia has held the rotating presidency. More information on what the role involves is available here.  The motto of the Estonian Presidency is “Unity through balance” reflecting its belief that the EU’s role is to find a balance between different views, traditions and interests in Europe to achieve the best possible outcome for European citizens. The four priorities identified by the Estonian government for its presidency are:

  • an open and innovative European economy;
  • a safe and secure Europe;
  • digital Europe and free movement of data;
  • an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

You can follow the Estonian Presidency on Facebook or find out more about Estonia here.

Data Roaming Charges Abolished in the EU

Roaming factsheet detail
Factsheet detail © European Commission

As of today, (15th June 2017) data roaming charges for all travellers in the European Union have been abolished, as part of the wider project to create a Digital Single Market. The European Commission has produced a couple of useful factsheets (see links at bottom of article) on what this entails. However, as this BBC article explains, customers are still liable for extra charges if they exceed their contractually agreed data usage limits.

As the BBC article also points out, once article 50 has been fully implemented, it will be the up to a future UK Government to decide as to whether the UK adopts these pricing restrictions or not.

Roaming factsheet: TechnicalroamingfactsheetEN

Roam Like at Home FAQs: RoamLikeatHomeEN

 

Agreement on portability of online content services in EU

creating_a_digital_single_market_2Europeans will soon be able to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services when travelling within the EU, following an agreement reached by negotiators from the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission. This is the first step in the modernisation of EU copyright rules proposed by the Commission in its Digital Single Market strategy.

The future regulation will enable consumers to access their online content services when they travel in the EU the same way they access them at home. The new rules will become applicable in all EU Member States by the beginning of 2018, giving the providers nine months to prepare for the application of the new rules.

A factsheet and leaflet on the portability of online content services are available.

 

West Highlands project wins a 2016 European Broadband Award

The European Commission has recognised five of the best broadband projects in Europe in the European Broadband Awards.

Broadband Europe promotes the European Commission’s vision to turn Europe into a Gigabit Society by 2025.

The UK RemIX project to bring high speed internet to rural areas on the West Coast of Scotland won the prize in the ‘Future-proof and quality of service’ category.  The other winning projects were from Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland.

Hear more about RemIX in this short video clip.

Phasing-out roaming charges within EU

no roaming
© European Parliament. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Mobile roaming charges in the EU are set to end completely by mid-June 2017, and as of 30th April this year rates will be capped at a reduced rate as part of the phase-out process.

Commission Vice-President Ansip had this to say:

We’re in the home stretch now before the end of roaming charges in 2017. This is not only about Europeans saving money, this is about bringing down barriers in the Digital Single Market.

For details of the changes, you can read more in this section of Europa (example costs are in Euros). Read about the Digital Single Market here.