MPs force ban on extra mobile phone charges

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Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen will forbid telecom companies to charge customers extra for using certain internet services via their mobile telephones. The companies will also not be allowed to block the services.

The mobile telephone companies wanted to charge people extra for using applications enabling them to send text messages or telephone via the internet and not via the mobile telephone network itself – in effect for free. The companies complained that they were losing telephone revenue and that use of the applications was overloading their networks.

Mr Verhagen was initially sympathetic to the companies’ case but a majority of MPs, led by opposition party Green Left, have insisted he stop the telecom companies imposing any extra charges. He agreed to enforce the will of MPs in a telecommunications debate in parliament on Tuesday.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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