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Lords to ask government how planned scrapping of EU roaming charges will effect consumers ahead of referendum


On Monday 7 September the Culture Minster Ed Vaizey will be questioned by peers on how the planned removal of mobile roaming charges across the EU by 2017 will affect consumers ahead of the UK's Referendum on membership with the EU.

The Minister will be asked by the Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee what the impact of the abolition of roaming charges  will be for the future of the telecommunications industry.

Other areas which the Committee will cover in the session include the phenomena of communication platforms such as Skype and Whatsapp, the impact of the Commission's definition of net neutrality, and the UK Government's approach to EU radio spectrum allocation.

Questions that the Minister may be asked could include:

Roaming Charges

  • What impact will the abolition of roaming charges have on the telecommunications industry over the next decade?
  • Should “Over The Top” communication's providers, such as Skype and WhatsApp use telecommunications infrastructure without contributing towards its maintenance?

Net neutrality

  • How has the debate surrounding net neutrality altered perceptions of the internet?
  • Does the definition for “specialised services” agreed to by the Council and the European Parliament strike the right balance between securing a quality of service for consumers and supporting competition in the provision of content/services?

Radio Regulations

  • Don't you agree that radio spectrum allocation is currently uncoordinated and therefore inefficient?

The evidence session will be held in the House of Lords Committee Room 2 at 5.00pm, on Monday 7 September.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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