News in brief: European Council agrees to new data rules, end mobile roaming charges by 2017

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Data Roaming

Member states of the Permanent Representatives Committee at the European Council agreed today to wide-ranging rules on mobile phone roaming within the European Union, promising extra charges will be abolished by the 15th of June 2017. With this, travelling inside the EU will not cost more than it would at home. Noteably, a fair-use policy was included that prevents abuse when abroad – the same restrictions applicable to use at home will apply when in another EU member state. The stated goal of this legislation is to provide a reduction in the wholesale rates within the European Union.

In addition, an advance for net neutrality was achieved as EU law will mandate that ISPs must treat all traffic on their network equally, although they are permitted to us “reasonable traffic management measures” to ensure their networks are operating efficiently. ISPs will, however, be able to give certain traffic priority as they see necessary. Examples given include telesurgery and connected cars, but it’s not an outrageous assumption to think they could provide premium services for private enterprises like streaming companies.

Read the press release here and the full draft regulation here.

Image credit:Irish Typepad