The telecoms package intended to end roaming fees, create a "connected continent" and guarantee net neutrality has been delayed by 24 hours.
The landmark document, created by European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes and her team, was due to be unveiled today alongside EC president José Manuel Durão Barroso's State of the Union address. However, it failed to materialise this morning, leading to speculation over last-minute problems with the more contentious parts of the bill.
A spokesperson for Kroes informed Mobile World Live that the proposed packaged had already been passed by the College of Commissioners "without amendment". Furthermore, the statement made particular reference to the net neutrality element of the package, reaffirming the fact that it had been supported "by an overwhelming majority".
The delay was confirmed by Neelie Kroes, who tweeted: "Only announcement delayed. #ConnectedContinent telecoms package is already agreed in full."
Kroes has been pushing for a net neutrality bill for a long time. Such a bill would force ISPs to state "real-life" broadband speeds to customers instead of an exaggerated headline figure, as well as creating clearer fair use policies.
Barroso's speech made reference to the telecoms package, but did not add any new information to the EC's policies, merely reiterating the Commission's rhetoric throughout the journey of the bill. "Citizens know that Europe has dramatically brought down their costs for roaming. Our proposal will strengthen guarantees and lower prices for consumers, and present new opportunities for companies," he said.
In August it emerged that Neelie Kroes was having to make compromises over the roaming elements of her plans, specifically relating to the wholesale costs of calls, texts and mobile data.
The EC has seen much success with its roaming policies in recent years, with significant price cuts coming to EU citizens suffering from "bill shock" after travelling abroad. Their ultimate goal, however, is to eliminate roaming fees entirely by creating a single market of mobile operators, allowing users to switch networks seamlessly as they travel across borders. It is this policy which has both attracted the most attention and the most ire from Europe's mobile networks.
The document is now expected to be released on Thursday.
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