For many reasons, being within the EU is a complicated matter and part of the reason as to why aspects take their time to be resolved. Roaming is one of those aspects, although after much debate and deliberation, roaming is now becoming less of an issue with carriers continually removing roaming chargers for those who travel with the EU states, in line with the EU’s deadline of 2017. However, that is not to say that all roaming-related issues have been resolved yet. While you are free to travel within the EU and not pay roaming charges for data used, the services you get for that data can still fall foul of intentional borders. Streaming services like Netflix being a prime example. Traveling from one EU member state to another can alter and change the content you are provided with, as the content is tailored differently to different countries within the EU. Likewise, the ability to use UK services like Sky TV Now or the BBC iPlayer are services which require you to be in the UK, with the apps able to detect and lock content when outside the borders. An issue which the EU now hopes to have resolved soon enough.
It is now being reported that an agreement has been made on proposals to remove the issue of online subscription services when travelling within the EU. While representatives from the member states have endorsed the proposal, it will still need to be approved by ministers when they next convene on May 26 and providing it is further approved, this will then open the door for consumers to make use of their paid services when they travel to other EU countries. Of course, there will still be some restrictions and the most notable one will likely center around the time-frame that you can be away from a home country and still receive the service. While the current proposals do not seem to provide any direct details on this time-frame, it is understood that this would not allow for the permanent ability to access home country content, but instead would be made available for what is currently being described as a “limited amount of time.”
On a slightly separate note. While the BBC iPlayer is technically offered as a free service to those in the UK, that is also something which looks to be changing soon. While the country does debate whether it remains in the EU or not, government officials are looking to make it law that you need to have a BBC licence to be able to use the iPlayer app, a change which is also set to take effect from next year and one which will essentially turn the iPlayer app into a paid service, albeit by way of bundling the service in with the already established TV licence fee.