By June 2017, all data roaming charges within the EU will be eliminated. For the first time, Europe will be advocating the principle of net-neutrality as internet service providers (ISPs) will be required to stop favouring some internet traffic.
This means that telecommunications companies will be subject to rules related to treating most internet traffic equally. The United States had already adopted this principle and have net-neutrality rules in effect.
A 14-month interim prior to the date when the new regulations will come into effect, will apply. During this period, starting in April 2016, service providers will still be able to apply a certain amount of surcharge on their communication services at a reduced cost, not exceeding the following maximum amounts:
- €0.05 per minute on calls;
- €0.05 per megabyte of data used;
- €0.02 per SMS sent.
Despite this new agreement, services requiring high-quality internet connection, such as Internet TVs, may still receive favour due to neutrality rules. This can be done as long as the overall quality of internet connection remains unaffected.
The new agreement on net-neutrality has been reached following long years of campaigning in favour of defining the EU countries’ approach towards the regulation of internet traffic and the elimination of roaming charges.
The commission also stated that in instances concerning public interest, it would be able to control internet traffic, such as in the instances of child abouse through sexually abusive images and planned terrorist attacks.