Subscribers to services such as Netflix and Spotify will now have access to the same content across the EU as at home under new rules adopted by the European Council.

The regulation, which applies to all paid-for online content, means that customers who pay for these services in their own country will be able to use the same service when travelling to another country.

It aims to address the fact that rights for content transmission are often licensed on a territorial basis, meaning that providers may choose to serve only specific markets.

Currently this means that subscribers to these services travelling to other countries may find that particular content is not available outside their own country.

The new ruling means service providers will require subscribers to prove their member state of residence in compliance with EU data protection rules, with the provider authorised to terminate access to the service if the subscriber cannot do so.

Means of verification can include no more than two criteria from a list that includes a bank card or a form of ID such as a passport, the Council said.

The rules, which also state that subscribers cannot be charged extra, are set to come into effect in the first quarter of 2018.

"Europeans travelling within the EU will no longer be cut off from online services such as films, sporting broadcasts, music, e-books or games they have paid for back home,” a statement from the Maltese Presidency read.

The rules are part of the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy, which aims to create free movement of digital services equivalent to the free movement of people and goods that currently exists within the single market.

The strategy has also seen the EU abolishing roaming charges as of this month so that consumers can use their mobile plans abroad.

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