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Europe Outlaws Roaming Charges, Introduces Net Neutrality Laws

Big changes are coming to European wireless carriers. The first is a law from the European Parliament that will remove all roaming charges by December 15 of next year. Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda said, “consumers are fed up with being ripped off.”

The law comes after last year’s data cap of 45 centers for MB, down from 2012′s 70 euro cents. These reforms come in a long line of net reforms, which sets out to defend net neutrality across the continent. From here, the laws will be sent to the May Parliament session for final approval.

The law would define net neutrality:

“Net neutrality” means the principle according to which all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender, recipient, type, content, device, service or application.

The law would protect net neutrality by prohibiting special services:

“Specialised service” means an electronic communications service optimised for specific content, applications or services, or a combination thereof, provided over logically distinct capacity, relying on strict admission control, offering functionality requiring enhanced quality from end to end, and that is not marketed or usable as a substitute for internet access service.

Providers of internet access, of electronic communications to the public and providers of content, applications and services shall be free to offer specialised services to end-users. Such services shall only be offered if the network capacity is sufficient to provide them in addition to internet access services and they are not to the detriment of the availability or quality of internet access services. Providers of internet access to end-users shall not discriminate between functionally equivalent services and applications.

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