March 29, 2012
At the end of February, the European Parliament’s ITRE committee voted in favour of lowering roaming costs within the EU. The Parliament’s vote followed a proposal of the European Commission from last July but demanded even lower price caps for roaming (no more than 15 ct/min to make calls and no more than 20 ct/MB for internet access from 2014).
According to information by the European telecom regulator BEREC, actual costs for roaming are very low and surcharges are not really necessary. The proposals were therefore still rather cautious. But at least they would have meant that mobile phone and smartphone users would finally have been able to use their phones without fearing high bills when returning home.
But right now, this proposal is being debated between the European Parliament and the European Council – and it looks like the Council is doing all it can to prevent consumer-friendly decisions. Some governments have obviously fallen to corporate lobbying and are now preoccupied with making sure we will continue to pay dearly for roaming instead of defending consumer interests.
This is a huge letdown for the millions of mobile phone users across Europe. Instead of the interests of users and the general economy, national ministers have given in to the lobbying of a few large telecom companies. Ministers obviously do not care that roaming charges damage the competitiveness of the European economy and they do not care about travellers who are forced to pay thousands of Euros when returning from holiday. The last decision by the European Parliament already proposed quite high price caps but if they even compromise on that with the Council, prices could end up being three to four times higher than what is economically feasible.
In order to find out more about the campaign against high roaming charges, pelase visit our website atwww.fairroaming.org.
Author : fairroaming.org