imagesEU’s Juncker pulls mobile phone ‘free roaming’ plan

Only a few days ago the European Commission presented a draft for an act defining the specific parameters of the Fair Use Policy that will prevent abusive usage when the abolition of Roaming commences next June 15th.

One of the main proposals covered by the act was related to the duration of the “Roam Like At Home” (RLAH) tariff. As it happens, this proposal turned out to be very controversial. The proposal suggested that customers should have been able to roam at domestic prices, and therefore take advantage of the RLAH agreement, for a maximum of 30 consecutive days – and for a total of 90 throughout the year. European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday ordered officials to draw up new plans for the EU’s landmark free mobile phone roaming policy after it ran into fierce criticism. Consumer Groups said that the policy would unfairly penalise pensioners who spend long spells abroad.

In light of the initial feedback received, President Juncker has instructed the services to withdraw that text and to work on a new proposal,”

said a Commission statement.

As we have promised, roaming charges will disappear. Nothing changes there,”

it said, downplaying the importance of the apparent U-turn on one of the Commission’s most high profile priorities.

EU Commissioner for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip described the end of roaming fees

“as one of the best achievements of the European Union in the last few years. “

As for the 90-day limit, that was needed to “strike the right balance” between consumers and companies so as to ensure continued investment, Ansip said when announcing the plans Wednesday.

The Commission will now come up with a new version of the rules, which could see the 90-day cap extended – or scrapped all together.