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British government opposes EU ban on roaming charges

The government has spoken out against EU plans to kill roaming charges and bring the telecoms industry into line across the continent.

The government is resisting European attempts to get rid of roaming charges. Westminster has spoken out against EU plans to bring the telecoms industry into line across the continent.

Eurowonks want to try and harmonise things across Europe, reducing the different charges when you go to different countries and bringing unity to the different standards and frequencies used by networks around the continent.

EU commissioner for digital matters Neelie Kroes wants to see telecoms companies form partnerships in other countries to reduce roaming charges. And Kroes wants to see the EU oversee radio frequency auctions like this year's 4G spectrum auction here in Britain, when countries sell off specific sets of airwaves to phone companies.

Sounds perfectly reasonable. So why does Britain oppose the EU's plans?

The drama is all about the means, rather than the ends. Ahead of an EU summit on the subject, the British government argues that existing rules should be used, instead of bringing more regulation to bear on phone networks.

Telecoms companies feel the same, complaining that regulation of roaming charges would cost them too much money.

The government is keen to spread 4G, which is now taking off here with O2 and Vodafone joining EE. It's also addressing digital issues such as the palaver surrounding licensing of musician different regions, which delays new services such as the new iTunes Radio reaching our ears.

Should the EU clamp down on roaming or should Eurocrats keep their noses out? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or roam to our Facebook page.