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EU content-portability rules come into effect on 1st April

Content providers will no longer be able to geo-block subscribers' access

The European Commission’s new rules regarding online content-portability will come into effect this weekend.

Subscribers to pay-TV services and SVoD platforms will now be able to access their content wherever they are within the European Union. Providers of free content may also opt-in to the scheme.

The European Commission approved the move in May 2017, with the rules finally coming into effect this weekend.

In a joint statement, European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip and commissioner Mariya Gabriel, said: “Our new rules directly respond to new behaviours and habits amongst European citizens using new technologies. 

“For example, consumer spending on video subscription services rose by 113 per cent per year between 2010 and 2014, and the number of users by 56 per cent between 2014 and 2015. It is also estimated that at least 29 million people, or 5.7 per cent of consumers in the EU, could make use of cross-border portability, and many more in the future – up to 72 million people by 2020.

“In addition, almost 60 per cent of young Europeans say that being able to travel with their subscriptions is an important factor in choosing to subscribe to online services. Making portability a reality addresses this concern, and in turn, will help service providers increase the numbers of subscribers.”