Today, the European Commission presented its draft rules on roaming charges which contribute to further promote the end of roaming charges in the EU as part of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation and Digital Single Market strategy. One central aspect of previous regulatory efforts was to grant European travelers the “Roam like at home” opportunity. That is, consumers pay the same for communication services abroad as in their home country (country of residence or to which they have stable links). The latest Commission draft rules specify the following:
- Clarify concept of a "stable link" with a country: People such as frontier workers, posted workers, students and retired people have so-called stable links with a country where they work, study or spend substantial time. Therefore, they can benefit from telecommunication offers in the country even without officially residing in that country.
- Protect consumers from excessive checking or documentation requests: Only after a minimum "observation period" of no less than four months, operators can identify a risk of abusive roaming use.
- Surcharge alert: Only after a minimum alert period of 14 days, operators can impose additional surcharges on consumers.
Andrus Ansip, EU Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, commented on this: "Every European will be able to roam without extra charges, when travelling from the place they call "home". In close cooperation with European consumers, we have designed safeguards to ensure travelers benefit from "roam like at home", while avoiding negative effects on the most competitive domestic data packages. It is now up to EU Member States to support what we are proposing in order to make Europeans' lives easier, cut bills and keep prices down."
Source: European Commission