Is the European Commission scrapping plans to reduce roaming costs in the EU?

Neelie Kroes
Neelie Kroes

According to documents seen by Reuters, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes has ditched a draft proposal to reduce wholesale costs of data and voice roaming by up to 90 per cent in the EU.

However, Kroes’ spokesperson Ryan Heath told us the report is inaccurate, saying: “We are still planning to end roaming. The plan will be published on 11 September in the State of the Union speech of European Commission President Barroso.”

Neelie Kroes

Reuters wrote that the decision was a response to criticism from telecom companies – the proposed roaming cuts would affect the wholesale prices telcos have to pay to use competitors’ networks. The news agency claims the latest draft it viewed does not include the proposed 3 cent per minute cap on voice calls, nor the wholesale cap of 1.5 cents per megabyte for data.

Earlier today, Kroes took to Twitter to respond to the rumours that she is abandoning the proposal:

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Reducing the price of roaming in the EU is one of Kroes’ main goals – this year has seen her actively campaigning for a single telecom market across Europe.

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In July, the European Commission cut the price of calls and texts within Europe, plus reduced the cost of downloading data by 36 per cent. Speaking about the reductions, Kroes said: “This is good for both consumers and companies, because it takes fear out of the market, and it grows the market.”

At the time, a spokesman for the Commission said further reductions would be introduced in July next year.

Neelie Kroes: Flickr user Sebastiaan ter Burg

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