Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey TD has welcomed the move by EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding to introduce regulations that could reduce mobile roaming charges across the EU by 50pc.
On Monday Reding labelled the roaming charges imposed by mobile operators on European citizens travelling with the EU as ‘excessive’. “A mobile phone customer should not be charged a higher tariff just because he is travelling abroad,” Reding said.
Yesterday Minister Dempsey, who pushed for the removal of roaming charges between the north and south of the border as well as between Ireland and the UK, said: “I am delighted that the commission have recognised the difficulties that roaming charges can pose to business and consumers.
“Already, under pressure from myself and my northern colleague Angela Smith, three companies have dropped their roaming charges for ‘pay monthly’ Irish customers travelling to Northern Ireland. By driving up the cost of doing business, roaming charges inhibit commerce across borders and unnecessarily penalise consumers,” said Minister Dempsey.
At a press conference today in Brussels Commissioner Reding stated that she hoped to have the draft regulation ready by June and adopted under co-decision with the European Parliament by 2007 at the latest. This would allow the regulation to come into effect in the second half of 2007.
“I am now looking forward to working with the commission to ensure the timely and effective implementation of a regulation on roaming,” Dempsey said.
By John Kennedy
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