On Monday, the European Union extended a ban on mobile phone roaming surcharges for another ten years for people who use their European handsets when traveling in the 27-nation bloc.
The “roam like at home” scheme is one of the more popular pieces of legislation for EU citizens and residents, allowing them to make calls and texts and use data in other EU countries at the same price as that charged in their domestic plans.
The European Council representing the EU’s member states said it gave final approval to extend the scheme beyond when the current regulation expires. It will now continue until 2032.
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) noted that the renewed policy requires telecom operators to strive to give roaming at the same quality, meaning EU visitors are not being shunted to lower speed 3G or 4G networks when higher speed ones are available.
BEUC’s deputy director-general Ursula Pachl called the comprehensive policy “one of the EU’s greatest success stories for consumers” and one of the “tangible benefits” of its single market.
Many consumers in Britain, which left the European Union two years ago, see roaming charges return.
At least three big British telecom operators decided to bring back added roaming fees, which average an extra two pounds (2.40 euros, $2.60) per day for those visiting the EU.