Abusive cross-border phone fees should be limited in the EU

, 14.09.2016 - 16:10

Following today’s proposal by the European Commission for a review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications, the EPP Group has called for a limitation of abusive fees charged for cross-border intra-EU phone calls and SMS messages in the review of the telecoms framework.

The Regulation adopted on 27 October 2015 only covers roaming tariffs and its scope is restricted to phone calls and SMS messages originating in a different Member State to the Member State where the mobile has its subscription. Hence, it does not regulate what is often referred to as intra-EU phone calls and SMS messages which originate in the country of mobile subscription and terminate in another Member State. This leads to prohibitive prices for consumers.

Krišjānis Kariņš MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, highlighted that support for new innovative technologies and businesses in the internet era should always be at the forefront of decision-making when new regulatory frameworks are established:

“A successful adoption of the Digital Single Market in Europe is key to a successful European economy. But the devil is in the detail and we have to look carefully into how the Commission wants to establish a level playing field without stalling the development of new business models in communication services”, said Kariņš.

He continued: “The proposed review of the rules for the traditional telecom companies and newer businesses with related internet-based services like Whatsapp, Skype etc. is a good first step."

He also welcomed the proposals to invest in the 5G mobile network, faster internet and to establish affordable broadband across the whole of the European Union.

“We simply have to roll out the internet highways to more rural and remote areas of Europe. The ability to access internet services, online banking etc. should not be reserved for citizens in densely-populated areas with powerful internet connections, but for all citizens of the European Union”, Kariņš concluded.

Mit 215 Mitgliedern aus 27 Mitgliedstaaten ist die EVP-Fraktion die größte Fraktion im Europäischen Parlament

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