After months of negotiations, European law makers have agreed to scrap off roaming charges across the continent. The changes expected to kick-in in June 2017 will at the same time usher in a new era of net neutrality. To allow the transition before eventually scrapping off the charges, the law makers agreed to place a cap on the charges at five cents per megabyte for mobile data, five cents per minute for calls and two cents per SMS message.
The EU law-makers also agreed on rules of net neutrality that allow specialized services such as live streaming of television to thrive. The condition for the implementation of net neutrality rules is that traffic does not hinder other users using the same network. Net neutrality seeks to ensure that allow internet traffic is treated equally.
According to the Financial Times, the final proposal on the law is set to be sent to the European Parliament and EU member states before coming into law. The proposal was a culmination of three year meetings between member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission, in which members often failed to agree on key aspects. Implementation of the same in member states is expected to move smoothly and swiftly.
The Financial Times reports that a more ambitious proposal seeking to harmonize the sale of spectrum on a European basis was scrapped after proving too contentious for EU member states. Most of the member states saw bandwidth as a national asset for Telcos to provide internet as well as a communication technology worth billions of euros.
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