September 20, 2016

Fair Usage Policy for Roaming introduced by European Commission

European Commission – For a decade now the Commission has been working to reduce roaming surcharges by telecoms operators, and prices have decreased by more than 90% since 2007. By June 2017, the ‘Roam like at Home’ initiative will come into effect for all European travellers, meaning that customers will pay domestic prices for their calls/messages/data, regardless of where they are.

In a press release published on European Commission on 9 September 2016, a new Fair Usage Policy to stop permanent roaming was announced. This policy would have allowed phone users no more than 90 days of free roaming per year and would have forced consumers to connect to their roaming providers home network at least once every 30 days.

However in an update published on 21 September 2016, this fair usage policy was revised, and it was agreed that there should be no limits imposed on consumers when using their mobile devices anywhere within the EU. This would benefit a multitude of people including expats, those working across borders, students, and pensioners residing abroad for long periods.

Alongside this, a new solid safeguarding approach is required in order for mobile operators to prevent abuse of the system. Operators will be able to monitor usage patterns, and if users are engaging in behaviour that causes concern, for example using the phone more abroad than at home, or subscribing to and using multiple SIM cards while roaming, then small surcharges can be applied.

The College of Commissioners will adopt the final proposal by 15 December 2016, following feedback from all interested parties.

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September 20, 2016