EU countries are saying goodbye to huge phone bills after long holidays abroad. Starting today, holidaymakers travelling within the European Union will no longer pay data roaming charges, as new regulations come into force.
Roam Like at Home allows UK citizens to pay the same price as at home when using their phones in EU member states. Phone calls, SMS and going online with your mobile device from another EU country will be covered in the national bundle.
For the past decade, the European Commission worked to decrease roaming charges within the EU, with prices for roaming calls, SMS and data falling by 80% since 2007. Abolishing them was part of the Commission’s wider plan for a Digital Single Market.
Both North East Labour MEPs welcomed the news today.
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said: “This is a fantastic breakthrough that has removed some very expensive barriers to communications. It is estimated that UK residents went on oversee visits over 70 million times last year, a significant increase from the year before. We welcome the announcement that, from today, all of these trips will be made even easier.”
Paul Brannen MEP added: “We’re happily waving roaming charges goodbye today and welcoming Roam Like at Home. Merely an ambitious idea a decade ago, this new regulation will bring a positive change to the lives of millions within the EU.”
Jean-Claude Juncker called this is one of the European Commission’s most tangible successes which will bring people together and make their lives easier.
In a joint statement, the EU institutions added: “By working closely together, the European Union has delivered a concrete, positive result for European citizens. The end of roaming charges is at the foundation of the EU's Digital Single Market and is another step towards building a united and sustainable European digital society, accessible for all our citizens."
Take a look at the video below, which explains Roam Like at Home: