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News: EU roaming charges drop

For the past seven years, EU officials have been working towards eliminating mobile roaming charges across the continent. On 1 July 2014, The EU took a leap forward in these efforts, with charges being cut by up to 50 percent.

This price drop means users will be charged less to make calls, surf the web and send texts from their mobile phones within the EU. Roaming charges for mobile phone calls will be reduced by 21 percent, bringing them down to a cap of 19 Euro cents. This reduction is part of the bigger plan to achieve a pan-national unified network within the “connected continent”.

Neelie Kroes, the EU telecoms commissioner, stated, “This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer”.

However, consumer groups are already warning that roaming charges have been increased outside the EU to offset these lowered fees. Additionally, consumers should also be on the lookout for other types of contract changes that could result in increased costs.

UK Parliament tables motion on media plurality

On 8 April 2013, an “early day motion” was tabled in the UK Parliament signed by 17 MPs so far expressing concern over recent legislation that gagged civil society groups may have implications for media plurality.

The legislation referred to limits the extent to which civil society groups can campaign on issues of general interest during election years. It does not limit corporate lobbying, but rather limits the amount that charities and non-profits are allowed to spend on campaigning. Any amount spent beyond these limits would have to be registered with The Electoral Commission, which would oversee and control the finances. The limit in England is set at £20000 a year, while Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are limited to £10000 a year, including staff costs.

The early morning motion criticises the way marginal groups and minorities are misrepresented by these mainstream dominant media outlets.  It calls for action to be taken to protect the possibility for a plurality of independent voices.

This initiative echoes arguments made by the civil society and individual behind the European Citizens Initiative on media pluralism aimed at spurring the EU to action on the issue and the efforts of the UK Coalition on Media Pluralism, which will hold an event together with some of the motions sponsors in Parliament on 28 April.

By |April 10th, 2014|0 Comments|

Brazil: Global Governance For The Internet

Brazil will propose principles for global governance of the Internet at the global multi-stakeholder NETmundial Conference on April 23 and 24, 2014. These are based on a document created by The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee ( for Brazil’s Marco Civil da Internet, which was approved by The Brazilian Congress’s lower house last week and is awaiting approval by The Senate.

Brazil’s proposal for global level governance is supported around the world by many influential authorities on the subject, including Time Berners Lee.

Opinions from 46 countries can be found in the proposal , which will be used as a guide for discussions at NETmundial. The document includes suggestions from the global tech community, the private sector, academics, and civil society members.

The proposal for global level governance is supported around the world by many influential authorities on the subject, including Time Berners Lee.

For More Information on The Netmundial Conference 2014:

For more information on Brazil’s Marco Civil da Internet:

Or check out this article:

By |April 7th, 2014|0 Comments|

Published: Report on the future of BBC World

31 March 2014: Foreign Affairs Committee announces Foreign Secretary should protect World Service interests by Holding “The BBC’s Feet To Fire”.

A report was published on the final day of the Foreign and Commonwealth office’s funding responsibility for The World Service. Regrets were expressed regarding a loss of direct representative voice on The BBC Executive Board or Management board for The World Service. The Foreign Affairs Committee was direct in expressing it has “clear differences” with The BBC regarding these new methods for governance of The World Service. It questioned whether interests of this distinct arm of The BBC will be safeguarded by the Director of News and Current Affairs at the Board level.

The World Service, long considered as having done an outstanding job at protecting The UK’s values abroad, was described by Sir Richard Sir Richard Ottaway, Chairman of the Committee, as an essential part of the country’s ‘soft power’.

James Harding, Director of News and Current Affairs, assured The Committee that the 2014-15 budget of 245 million pounds will be used as a guideline for the minimum in funding over the next two years.

For More information please visit:

By |April 4th, 2014|0 Comments|