EU to scrap roaming fees

The European Commission has reached a deal with telecom providers. From June 2017 there will be no roaming charges within the European Union. Calling and browsing the internet abroad, will therefore cost the same anywhere in the EU, NOS reports.

The European Parliament still has to approve this proposal, but European Commissioners are positive it will go through. "I expect that a majority exists in the European Parliament for this. So it goes through, unless something very unusual happens", D66 Euro Commissioner Marietje Schaake said to NOS.

German European Commissioner Gunter Oettinger of Digital Economy and Society is also convinced that there will soon be an end to roaming charges. "Breakthrough!! End of roaming by 2017 guaranteed. Open internet for all. Political agreement reached", he wrote on Twitter.

The high roaming charges in the European Union has been a topic for discussion for some time. Last year the European Parliament already voted that measures should be put in place. Earlier this year the European member states came up with a proposal to allow 5 MB of data per day without roaming fees for those visiting other EU countries.

So far proposals have been met with opposition from countries with a lot of tourism, such as France, Greece and Spain. It has now been agreed that roaming charges will be reduced gradually. As of April 2016, roaming charges will be reduced to 5 cents per minute for calls, 2 cents for ext messages and 5 cents per megabyte for data. From June 2017, roaming costs will be completely abolished.