Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Single Telecom Market – Open Internet, Roaming, End-Users' Rights

Single Telecom Market – Open Internet, Roaming, End-Users' Rights

Regulatory Coordination & Users (Unit B.2)

Bring forward end-user protection rules to support a competitive telecom single market fostering end-user connectivity, confidence, innovation and investment.


We empower end-users in the digital single market by:-preserving an open Internet, while providing the possibility to ensure quality of service for specialised services;-creating an EU-roaming market with no surcharges;-be setting out stable and predictable end-user rights adapted to an evolving internet economy.-ensuring that universal service rules correspond to societal needs-reviewing the future-proofness of the current rules


More than one quarter of mobile users experience the blocking of online content or applications today. Nearly four out of ten EU citizens experience difficulties watching videos, talking online or even playing games, because the Internet runs too slowly. There is a perceived lack of transparency which makes it difficult for users to choose the offer that suits their needs. In particular, end-users may not know how their operator shapes their Internet traffic. In addition, switching providers, which is a key element in enhancing competition, still seems to raise some difficulties.In Europe, both electronic communications providers and end-users face inconsistent rules regarding rights of end-users, leading to uneven levels of protection and a variety of diverging rules to comply with in different Member States. This fragmentation is costly for operators, unsatisfactory for end-users and eventually hinders the provision of services across borders and negatively impacts end-users' willingness to consume them. Many Europeans avoid, or curtail usage of their mobile phones when travelling outside of their home Member State in order to avoid incurring mobile roaming charges.The Commission is legally obliged to periodically review the scope of universal service. Avoiding a digital – and thereby social– divide remains highly important. All end-users should be able to fully participate in the digital society and access to high-quality broadband is a key enabler. The role of universal service in ensuring access to broadband is one of the key elements of the forthcoming universal service review.

The regulatory framework for electronic communications and the draft Connected Continent regulation (TSM) enhance end-user rights as well as Article 114 of the TFEU.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
10.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
Administrative and operational budget will cover: Studies

Connected Continent Regulation (TSM)



Openness of internet

Target Increase the number of individuals who are regular Internet users. In order to make the use of the Internet more easy and attractive, there should be no deliberate blocking or throttling (By end 2015)
Baseline More than 35% of all mobile users and more than 20% of all fixed network users in the EU are affected by restrictions on peer-to-peer traffic at peak times; more than 20%, and 12% respectively, of all mobile users are affected by restrictions on VoIP
Current No update since 2012, new traffic management investigation by BEREC planned for 2015

BEREC Traffic Management Investigation

Broadband speeds

Target Actual speeds at least 90% of advertised speeds (By 2016)
Baseline xDSL 60.3%, FTTx 81.2%, cable 91.9% (2012)
Current DSL= 71.2%; Cable: 89.3%; FTTx: 84.6%. (2013; 2014 results available in February 2015)

SamKnows study

Average retail roaming prices

Target "Roam like at home" becomes the norm in roaming pricing (By July 2016 )
Baseline Regulated safeguard caps as from July 2014: 0.19€/min for calls made, 0.06€/SMS and 0.20€/MB for data.
Current 0.21€/min for calls made, 0.07€/SMS and 0.17€/MB for data (EEA average, March 2014)

BEREC Roaming benchmark data reports


Citizens will have access to high quality internet at reasonable prices even when travelling in another EU country and will consequently use more online services

Access to open internet at affordable price throughout the EU will boost the usage of online services and will therefore nurture the digital single market.



The Connectivity Dimension of the Composite index DESI (lead indicator)

Target Year to year growth rate of the composite indicator for all MS as well as narrow the gap between them
Baseline EU28 score 0,51 (on a scale 0 to 1) (DESI 2014 (figures mainly relate to 2013 situation))
Current EU28 score 0,546 (on a scale 0 to 1) (DESI 2015 (figures mainly relate to 2014 situation))

Digital Economy and Society Index, computed by DG CONNECT using multiple sources

Chart URL See the chart

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • DAE - The entire EU to be covered by broadband by 2013
  • DAE - The entire EU to be covered by broadband above 30Mbps by 2020
  • DAE - 50% of the EU to subscribe to broadband above100 Mbps by 2020
  • DAE - The difference between roaming and national tariffs to approach zero by 2015