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Deal reached to end roaming charges in EU by 2017

June 30, 2015 2:43 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

A political deal was reached in Brussels last night to scrap mobile roaming fees in the EU by 2017, following almost two years of negotiations.

All roaming surcharges for travellers in the EU, whether for calls, texts or data, will be completely abolished as of 15 June 2017.

In an interim phase, fees will be capped in April next year at €0.05 per minute for calls, €0.02 for text messages and €0.05 per MB of data.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:

"Finally the end of rip-off roaming charges in Europe is firmly in sight.

"From Riga to Rome, two years from now holidaymakers will be free to use their phones freely wherever they are in the EU.

"This shows how being in the EU means we can deliver a fairer, cheaper deal for British consumers."

The deal was reached late last night in talks between negotiators from the European Parliament, Council and Commission. The agreement is set to be formally approved in the coming months by national ministers in the EU Council and a vote in the European Parliament.

Under the agreement, roaming providers will be able to apply a 'fair use policy' to prevent abusive use of roaming. This would include using roaming services for purposes other than periodic travel.

Last year MEPs voted to scrap roaming charges by the end of 2016, but in a compromise with national governments this has been put forward to June 2017.