Διαδικτυακή πρόσβαση σε ταινίες και τηλεόραση στο εξωτερικό: συμφωνία με το Συμβούλιο.
End of mobile roaming charges.
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Accessing online films and TV while abroad: deal with Council
New rules allowing EU citizens with subscriptions for online music, games, films and TV shows to access this content while staying temporarily in another EU country, were informally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday.
Rapporteur Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR) said: ”The quality of the discussions between the institutions has led to this satisfying agreement that will benefit all EU-citizens but also service providers, right holders and creators. This signifies very important progress in the context of the Single Market.”
Today, consumers visiting another EU country often cannot access and use online content services, such as music, games, films, entertainment programmes or sporting events, that they have subscribed to in their home country, because their cross-border portability is restricted by territorial and exclusive licensing practices.
The new rules will remove these restrictions for all new subscriptions and also for those purchased before the rules enter into force, thus enabling EU citizens to access this online content while temporarily abroad in another EU country on holiday, for studies or for business.
However, they will apply only to online fee-based services. Free-of-charge services will not be subject to the rules, but their providers will have the option of making them portable EU wide.
Residence check and data protection
The agreed legislation will allow online content service providers to take “reasonable and proportionate measures” to verify the EU country of residence of the subscriber. A closed list of permitted verification methods includes checks on electronic identification, payment details, public tax information, postal address details or IP address checks. Service providers will be required to inform customers of the verification methods used and take appropriate security measures to protect their data.
The new rules now need to be formally approved by the Legal Affairs Committee, Parliament as a whole and the Council.
According to the Commission, almost half of EU internet users, 49%, listen to music, watch videos and play games online. Many of them expect to do so while they travel in the EU. Their numbers are expected to grow as Europeans will pay less to access the internet on their mobile devices in other EU member states from 15 June 2017, when mobile “roaming” charges end in the EU (press release).
End of mobile roaming charges: deal on lower wholesale price caps
Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on wholesale price caps on Tuesday evening. Caps are significantly lower than those proposed by the Commission. Wholesale price caps define how much telecoms operators can charge each other for using their networks to carry cross-border “roaming” calls.
Mobile roaming charges for EU consumers will end on June 15, 2017, enabling them to call and transfer data across borders from another EU member state for the same cost as at home.
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D, FI), who is steering the legislation through Parliament, said:
“People all over the EU have waited for us to drop roaming charges in June 2017. Now all the negotiations are ready and we can deliver what was promised. Like consumer organizations all over Europe, we, too, see this as a great victory for the European consumers.”
“The agreed caps ensure cost coverage for efficient operators throughout Europe but are low enough to sustain competition on the European telecom markets”, she added.
“Consumers will continue to benefit from competition and will be able to use more data when roaming than with the original proposal from the Commission. I’d like to thank political groups and the member states for constructive co-operation and flexibility”, she concluded.
Parliament and Council agreed on the following caps:
€0.032 for voice call, instead of the proposed €0.04,
a gradually decreasing cap, from €7.7 (15/06/2017) to €6 (01/01/2018), €4.5 (01/01/2019), €3.5 (01/01/2020), €3 (01/01/2021), €2.5 (01/01/2022) per gigabyte instead of €0.0085 per megabyte (or €8.5 per gigabyte), and
€0.01 for text messages, as proposed by the Commission.
The deal is a necessary step towards the full abolition of retail roaming surcharges, which will enable consumers to use their mobile phones in other EU countries just as they do at home without paying extra fees.
Wholesale roaming prices indirectly affect consumers’ final bills. The agreed caps should instead enable telecoms operators to offer roaming services to their customers without any extra charges on top of the home market price.
Bigger data transfers
Lower caps for data transfers would enable EU consumers to access more audio-visual content when travelling from a country to another. This could also open up markets for small and virtual telecoms operators.
The agreement still needs to be formally approved by the Industry Committee, Parliament as a whole and national ministers before entering into force.