Feeds

Operators' EU roaming challenge sent home

Caps on roaming are legal and proportionate. Sorry

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A legal challenge to the EU's capping of roaming rates, brought by the UK's four biggest networks, has failed at the European Court of Justice.

Strictly speaking the case was against the UK's implementation of the rules, and thus was launched at the High Court of England and Wales in 2007 when the new rules were passed by the EU. But the High Court passed the case on to decide if the EU had the legal right to impose such caps, and if they were proportionate to the problem. Turns out that it does, and it was.

The networks argued that the legal basis for the caps, that they would improve the functioning EU market as allowed by Article 95 of the EU Treaty, wasn't applicable, and that even if it was there was no reason to set retail rates when wholesale rates could have been capped instead. But the court ruled that the EU did have the right, and that retail caps were an appropriate measure.

The EU could have imposed a wholesale cap: limiting the amount that operators were allowed to charge each other for roaming, then relying on that to reduce retail prices. It might have worked too, but it would not have provided the PR coup for which then-Information-Commissionaire Viviane Reding was looking - reinventing the EU as fighting for the rights of consumers against the spectre of profiteering multinationals.

Key to the EU's victory were the repeated calls made by Ms Reding and asking the industry to cut prices voluntarily before she felt obliged to impose caps. Those caps arrived in 2007 with an implementation schedule that requires calls made during roaming (within Europe) to cost only €0.39 a minute by 1 July 2010, with received calls costing only €0.15 and an EU study of how effective the caps have been so far due at the end of June.

When the caps were introduced there was much talk of similar limits being imposed on data roaming, but other than requiring additional authorisation when the data bill hits €50 that hasn't happened. The EU got occupied with the international financial collapse, and Viviane Reding moved on, but data caps will no doubt rise again next time the EU is looking for some good PR. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable
Don't worry, it'll be cheaper when they use drones
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?