One of the politicians who represents Brighton and Hove in the European Parliament has welcomed the scrapping of roaming charges for mobile phone customers when they are abroad within the European Union (EU).
Catherine Bearder, one of the ten Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for South East England, said that it was “a massive win for British consumers”.
Her comments came after a vote by MEPs at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg today (Tuesday 27 October).
They approved the scrapping of roaming charges in the EU from June 2017.
Mobile providers will have to charge customers the same price for phone calls, texts and data when they go to France or Spain, for example, as they would pay in Britain.
It should bring to an end the pricey surprises some people receive after returning from trips abroad, having barely downloaded anything on their smart phones or tablets.
In the meantime the price caps for calls, texts and internet use will be lowered.
From next April texts will cost no more than two cents (1.4p), calls will be capped at five cents (3.6p) a minute and a megabyte (mb) of data will also be limited to five cents.
UKIP opposed the measure, saying that phone companies would put up domestic prices to recoup their losses.
They said that the rule change would be good for the likes of MEPs but bad for voters.
Catherine Bearder, who chairs the Liberal Democrats’ campaign to remain in the EU, said:”The end of rip-off roaming fees is a massive win for British consumers.
“This shows what we can achieve when Britain plays a leading role in Europe.
“Driving costs down and making it easier to travel is what being in the EU is all about.”
A cap on the cost of incoming calls when abroad is due to be set in the coming months. It is likely to be lower than the fee for outgoing calls.
The regulation agreed today, on a single market in telecommunications, will force internet providers to scrap porn filters, according to the Daily Mail.
The newspaper said that the filters would fall foul of the new rule outlawing “discrimination, restriction or interference” with internet traffic.
The government has suggested that it can bring in a domestic law to protect children from online pornography despite the new EU regulation.