Delay on abolition of roaming charges is shameful – Noone
“Dithering, indecisive and too willing to give in to special interests”, is how Senator Catherine Noone has summed up the European Council on foot of news that the abolition of roaming charges within the European Union is to be delayed.
“For the last year and a half, people right across Europe have been led up the garden path: told that the abolition of EU roaming charges was imminent, that it had passed through the Parliament and that it was about to be enacted. Now we find the measure is likely to be delayed by three years to the end of 2018, as a consequence of a European Council decision which has extended the deadline for telecoms companies to end roaming charges.
“When people travel across Europe in 2016 or 2017- where’s their abolished roaming and their reasonably priced calls, texts and data? It’s not happening. Europe has let its citizens down through its dithering, its indecision and its willingness to give in to special interests.
“As a proud European, and an advocate of the European project as a mechanism through which all our lives can be made better, I am bitterly disappointed with this retrograde step. Great work was being done for the past decade in making roaming cheaper, and breaking down the invisible telecommunications borders which exist across Europe. We all know roaming is a huge money maker for telecoms companies, and set about tackling that. Yet, now, apparently it’s not such an urgent issue after all. People can simply continue to pay through the nose for another three years, according to the Council’s dithering and indecision.
“I am glad that my colleague in the European Parliament, Brian Hayes, plans on raising this important issue and seeking a reversal of this decision by the European Council. What exactly is the Council hoping will change in the next three years? What is the difference between abolishing roaming charges in 2015 and 2018? It seems, to me, there is little difference, apart from allowing the telecoms companies to continue to rake money in, hand over fist, for an extra 36 months. I call on those who made this decision to reconsider in the interests of the European citizens they serve”.