You’ll have heard of nothing but the EU single market in the news over the past year but now there will be a Digital Single Market.
The EU last week, as reported in The Orkney News, is set to remove all mobile roaming charges for its member states. Well it is about to make it much easier for EU citizens to access all their digital content.
How will it work?
The online content service providers like Netflix, MyTF1 or Spotify will verify the subscriber’s country of residence by using means such as payment details, the existence of an internet contract or by checking the IP address. All providers who offer paid online content services will have to follow the new rules. The services provided without payment (such as the online services of public TV or radio broadcasters) will have the possibility to decide to also provide portability to their subscribers.
All this is called the Digital Single Market and it means EU citizens will be able to access online content services when they travel in the EU the same way they access them at home. This is a huge issue for young people but increasingly so for all generations as people go online now for so many services.
The Digital Single Market agreement will now be formally confirmed by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. Once adopted, the rules will become applicable in all EU Member States by beginning of 2018 as the Regulation grants providers and right holders a 9 month period to prepare for the application of the new rules
The UK is now set firmly on course to leave the EU with Article 50 to be triggered in March. There will then be a period of 2 years for negotiations. It is not known if the 27 EU states will agree to the UK having access to the single market and with it, the digital single market.