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European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs 148

First time accepted submitter TBerben (1061176) writes "The European Parliament has voted to accept the telecommunications reform bill. This bill simultaneously forbids mobile providers from charging roaming costs as of December 15, 2015 and guarantees net neutrality. Previous versions of the bill contained a much weaker definition of net neutrality, offering exemptions for 'specialized services,' but this was superseded in an amendment (original link, in Dutch) submitted by Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake (liberal fraction). Note that the legislation is not yet definitive: the Council of Ministers still has the deciding vote, but they are expected to follow the EP's vote."
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European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs

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  • Good, I guess (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @08:55AM (#46648071)
    I'm big on NN, but I do admit there are good points made for market driven forces to allow buildup of delivery services. That breaks down with the lack of competition at the ISP level. I assume its similar in Europe as the US.

    Riddle me this. If Netflix pays and ISP for delivering its content with quality...should not all subscribers to that ISP, regardless of what plan they signed up for, get Netflix at the highest possible bandwidth?

    This issue can't be piecemeal-ed.
  • Cynicism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @08:58AM (#46648099)

    Option A : Mobile providers make less money next year.

    Option B : Mobile providers raise the standard charges the exact necessary amount to avoid having losses due to this law.

    Option C : Mobile providers raise the standard charges more than necessary and justify the raise saying ordinary people need to pay for the yuppies who roam Europe in their sports cars while chatting on their phones.

  • by TBerben ( 1061176 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @09:06AM (#46648187)
    Tourists either switch off their phones, or put them in flight mode, because of the exorbitant roaming charges they would otherwise make. I doubt they make up a significant portion of the operators' income. Your argument is easily reversed: the operators might experience an increase in revenue, once tourists actually start using their phones abroad.
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @09:16AM (#46648279) Journal
    My mobile provider (3, in the UK) has started rolling out a thing that lets you use your inclusive minutes and data allowance in other countries without any extra charge (the costs if you go over those limits are pretty dire). It was actually cheaper for me to use data on my mobile when I visit the US than it was for the people I was visiting, on my last trip. I think they've seen the writing on the wall and started making these agreements long before they were needed. They're able to do this and charge 3p/minute for calls, 2p/text and 1p/MB for data (pre-pay - if you get a bundle and buy in bulk then things are cheaper, but the bundles are time limited).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @09:35AM (#46648467)

    Since I'm european, I would like to inform you about a few things about the EU, in order for you not to take the wrong decision:

    A) Yes, the net-neutrality principle is going to be very strong, if the Council will approve the same text as the Parliament. However, I don't think this is the most important thing for mankind

    B) The EU is composed of 28 Nations. It's not a single nation. 28 different cultures, 25 different languages, several ethnic groups. See it as a giant NAFTA, rather than a "country"

    C) The entire economic policy is established by the EU Commission, whose members are picked by governments. It is notoriously submissive to lobbysts, no less than the american congress, probably more. For example, this very piece of legislation was far weaker when it was proposed by the Commission, luckily the Parliament has improved it, but it doesn't always happen

    D) Greece has been reduced to a third-world country because of EU's, ECB's and IMF's decisions. Even free vaccines have been cut. Spain, Portugal and Ireland are sharing a similar fate. Italy has also experienced a huge recession because of EU's policies.

    D) The 18 members of the eurozone lost their monetary sovereignity. The ECB basically follows the same policy as the old Bundesbank. They don't care about recessions, they don't care about speculative attacks against single eurozone countries, they just care about "price stability". They basically masturbate if the inflation rate is low. They saved private banks instead of countries. What would have happened to the american economy without the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing? Something like 1929, which is exactly what has been happening in europe recently

    E) The EU Parliament, which is the only democratically elected EU institution, has fewer powers than a normal parliament: it cannot propose new legislation, but only either approve, amend or veto bills drafted by the Council or the Commission, whose members are chosen by single national governments

    The 4 richest countries in europe, excluding Luxembourg (which is basically a meaningless tax haven), are all either outside the EU or the eurozone: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland...
    Maybe that's not a coincidence.

    Think twice before coming here.

  • Re:Good, I guess (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @10:09AM (#46648817) Journal

    ISPs advertise, amd charge more for, higher speeds to your house.

    It's fraud to deliberately degrade Netflix to attempt to extort from them a portion of what I pay Netflix.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rkww ( 675767 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @03:14PM (#46652115)

    They never thought of ending roaming charges as a way to _make_ money

    Except for Three UK [three.co.uk] who have already ended call roaming charges in eleven foreign countries - including the USA.

    And for certain packages they've removed data roaming charges too (subject to limits.)

    Incidentally 97 percent [fiercewireless.com] of their network traffic is data.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."