As anticipated, the European Parliament has voted in favour of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). The new EU telecoms rules will open the possibilities for faster access to radio spectrum waves and greater investments in high-speed connectivity. They will also ensure better protection and services for end-users of either traditional (calls, SMS) or web-based solutions (Skype, WhatsApp, etc.).
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, and Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, made a joint statement, which said, “Today’s vote by the European Parliament is a positive and necessary step towards ensuring that the telecoms sector in the EU is fit for purpose.”
“The new telecoms rules that will now be put in place as a result, are an essential building block for Europe’s digital future and a source of new digital rights for European citizens. They are crucial for meeting Europeans’ growing connectivity needs and boosting Europe’s competitiveness. In addition, they allow for the groundwork to be laid for the deployment of 5G across Europe”, continued Ansip and Gabriel.
Moreover, the EECC will reinforce the protection of citizens in emergency situations (via the number 112), by retrieving a more accurate caller location, using text messaging and video calls in emergency communications, and establishing a system to transmit public warnings on mobile phones.
To conclude, the new legislation also set a maximum price of 19 cents per minute for international calls within the EU and 6 cents for text messages (SMS). Officials will make sure that the new rules do not distort the competition, innovation and investment. Price caps will be applied from 15 May 2019.