(Reuters; Thu Apr 3, 2014) - The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of ending mobile phone roaming fees on Thursday, a move that will cheer Europe's consumers even as it frustrates telecoms companies.
In a full sitting of the parliament in Strasbourg, lawmakers backed legislation that will phase out roaming fees across the 28-country European Union by December 2015.
"This vote is the EU delivering for citizens," said Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for digital affairs and an ardent advocate for ending the charges.
"This is what the EU is all about - getting rid of barriers to make life easier and less expensive. We should know what we are buying, we should not be ripped-off, and we should have the opportunity to change our mind."
At the same time, the parliament voted in favour of maintaining "net neutrality", effectively declaring that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally, regardless of the source or the content.
The decision is a move to limit the ability of network operators to provide quicker Internet access to content providers in exchange for a fee and is another decision in favour of consumers.