We were so close to being able to travel around Europe without costly roaming charges hanging over our heads. But now, roaming charges are here to stay until 2018 at the earliest.
The EU Parliament approved a “roam-like-at-home” package last year, which would have ended roaming charges from the end of the year. However, member states have put off scrapping these charges until at least 2018, deciding to send the package back to Parliament for more discussion.
In the meantime, the European Council is claiming that customers will get a fair deal under a new plan. It said in a statement that roaming customers will get a basic allowance, allowing them to “make and receive calls, send SMSs and use data services without paying anything extra on top of the domestic fee.” Once they’ve used this allowance, “the operator may charge a fee but this fee will be much lower than current charges.”
The European Council will review the plan again in mid-2018. Guess we better stay vigilant about using free Wi-Fi while we’re away.