The European Parliament voted today to end roaming charges on mobile phones by Christmas 2015. And as for Internet neutrality, the European Union (EU) is to bolster it too.
The EU believes in fair-play and so its members have voted overwhelmingly in favor of putting an end to roaming charges. Besides this, the issue of Net neutrality has been examined and will be put into effect starting from next year onwards.
Termed the Connected Continent (telecoms single market) approach, this initiative was begun by EU vice president Neelie Kroes. She contends that the measures were being taken in the interest of the common citizens. The whole procedure was to be implemented in order to make life smoother and less costly for the ordinary denizens of Europe.
“Nearly all of us depend on mobile and internet connections as part of our daily lives. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped-off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind. Companies should have the chance to serve all of us, and this regulation makes it easier for them to do that. It’s win-win.”
The fact that billions of people buy mobile phones around the world meant that they had the right as consumers to dictate certain basic terms. They should not get a raw deal in the process. They were the ones who were to have the last say in matters of purchase and choice.
"In 2010 I promised to end roaming charges by the end of 2015, and now we are one step away from achieving that result. Beyond the highly visible barrier of roaming we are now close to removing many other barriers so Europeans can enjoy open, seamless communications wherever they are," added Neelie Kroes.
As for Net neutrality, the thing was that all types of websites with any content were to be allowed free access to cyberspace. This was a move that the United States has not favored.
Yet the European Union had decided to go ahead with a balancing of the scales. The fact that elections are coming up soon may have had something to do with this decision by Neelie Kroes. Yet one can also say that it was all done in good faith.
This choice will affect telecom companies in a negative way. These behemoths had gotten used to having their way in everything. An example was the huge payments handed over to Comcast by Netflix in the United States.
But that will not be taking place in the European continent once the legislation becomes part of the terrain. The whole shebang was the brainchild of Neelie Kroes and she deserves thunderous applause for her untiring efforts to make these just and humane principles a living reality.