World Congress

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Free phone services for disabled people in Italy: EC acknowledges a victory of Luca Coscioni Association

12/03/2007

Last October 4, after a long political campaign of the Luca Coscioni Association, a formal resolution by the Italian Authority for the Guarantees in the Communications (AGCOM) provided that starting from the 1st of January 2008 the mobile phone operators grant 50 free SMS a day to deaf people, moreover the operators shall submit special offers addressed to deaf people and concerning other IC services such as MMS, video-calls and internet connection. The tariffs of the different operators will be available on the AGCOM website in order to be fully comparable. Trough the same decision, the Authority also issued that blind people are entitled to at least 90 hours of free internet navigation from their PCs. It is important to stress that the provision of the Authority - adopted after a formal request presented in March 2006 by Luca Coscioni Association - while providing measures in favor of deaf and blind people, also acknowledges the usefulness of the new generation services (i.e. video calls, MMS, internet), thus confirming that new technologies are now indispensable means to remove burdens to a free communication. Luca Coscioni Association welcomes this first victory, that is the result of the involvement of both citizens and the deaf community claims for their own rights. All of them were represented during the demonstrations organized by Luca Coscioni Association in front of the Italian AGCOM in both Rome and Naples. It is a great start, that should be soon widened to all those disabled and terminally ill people, whose conditions do not allow them to fully communicate, what on the other hand could be improved by the use of new technologies. Luca Coscioni Association will soon adopt initiatives aiming at activating Italian Regions and Communes to implement the means provided by the resolution also at local level. The news were promptly acknowledged by the European Commission that has published them on its website: http://www.epractice.eu/cases/freephoneservices

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