EC wants roaming rates gone by 2015

The European Commission wants to all-but wipe out mobile roaming rates by 2015, as part of a plan to form a single market for telecoms services in the region.
 
Cutting rates from an average of 38 cents in 2009 to almost zero in the next five years is one of 100 action points included in the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe document, which outlines plans to boost the region’s economy by creating a unified digital market.
 
The agenda was officially unveiled yesterday, and details plans to implement a Europe-wide spectrum policy by end 2010, and ambitious targets to deploy 100Mbps fiber broadband networks to 50% of all homes in the region by 2020.
 
Homes not covered by high-speed fiber should have access to a minimum of 30Mbps networks by that date.
 
The agenda also sets out plans to draw up proposals covering collective digital rights management, legal measures for ICT interoperability, and protection from cyber-attacks by end-2010.
 
Neelie Kroes, the EC’s vice president for the agenda, said the plan sets out the focus needed to put European citizens and businesses at the “forefront of the digital revolution,” but conceded it would need the full backing of all member states to be a success.
 
Kroes comments on roaming rates should go some way to answering critics, who questioned whether she would be tough on telecoms firms when a draft of the agenda leaked out earlier this week.
 
Last week, EC president José Manuel Durão Barroso said the commission would outline proposals to unify telecoms regulations  in the region by July.

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