On 11 September 2013, the Commission proposed a legislative package for a ‘connected continent: building a telecoms single market’. It aims to incentivise the sector to invest in new technologies, and adopt new business models, and to remove the obstacles to a single telecoms market. The proposal seeks to reduce the administrative burden of seeking authorisation to operate, co-ordinating radio-spectrum assignment at EU level and increasing network capacity. It will also lead to the elimination of retail roaming charges. But the proposal provoked very mixed reactions from stakeholders, who only supported some of its elements and strongly criticised the proposal's complexity, the lack of official consultation process and the rushed attempt to have it adopted in the current legislature before the next review of the framework for electronic communications.
Despite the many flaws in the proposal, the topic was too important for the Parliament to remain silent and a broad compromise was found among all the political groups on most points. The main outcomes are that all roaming charges for calls, text messages and data within the EU will disappear in December 2015; a review of wholesale charges will now happen in July 2015; improved management of radio frequencies for new mobile applications will now be possible and will allow for innovative uses of wireless broadband, protect broadcasting and stop interference when several devices are used in close proximity. However, no agreement has been found at committee level on one core issue of the proposal: net neutrality. This is the principle that all electronic communications through the internet access service are treated equally, independent of content, application, service, device, source or target.

Past sessions