Commissioner Kroes defends EU Telecoms Package
Leading ICT journalist Jennifer Baker is joined by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, to discuss the newly presented EU Telecoms Package.
Building on the EU Telecommunications Framework for 2007-2009, the European Commission issued the “Connected Continent: Building a Telecoms Single Market” legislative package . The proposal addresses roaming costs, simplifies rules to raise investment rates, introduces EU-wide net neutrality protection and dismisses higher costs on fixed-line long distance calls.
On the topic of roaming charges, Ms Kroes expresses her satisfaction with the text. As the Commissioner points out, some people clearly oppose the envisioned changes to roaming in the EU. This mindset, however, will not be shared among the 500 million Europeans, which can only benefit from cheaper mobile services.
Another big part of the telecoms package is the first ever Europe-wide protection of net neutrality, which presents solutions to current practices of stopping, blocking and throttling of data by providers. Ms Kroes refers to this part of the proposal as being very balanced, ‘giving a guarantee on quality for the visitor of internet’.
The proposed telecoms package has less than one year to pass through the European Parliament, before the 2014 elections, Nevertheless, Commissioner Kroes feels optimistic that the draft will pass through to the Council of the EU.