EU accused of dragging its feet on abolishing roaming charges

EU member states have put back their intention to abolish roaming charges - originally intended to run out at the end 2015 - for at least another three years.

Muslim groups are using mobile communications to target young girls for conversion. Image by Matt Kieffer / CC BY-SA 2.0

Roaming charges vary alarmingly from one EU member state to the next Image by Matt Kieffer / CC BY-SA 2.0

The EU says customers will end up getting a better deal but travellers in the interim won’t be too happy that the charges are retained until 2018.

RTE news reports that these charges vary enormously between telecom operators with many tourists feeling they are being ripped off as soon as they step out of their own country into a different European Union location. Last year, the European Parliament backed a new ‘roam-like-at-home’ package that was due to see a total end to such charges this year.

Now though, the European Council has sent the package back to the Parliament for further consideration, including debate on a new pricing mechanism leading to lower costs. The President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, said the decision in effect favoured the telecoms companies over consumers. Adding that he was extremely disappointing with the move, he said the member states should hang their heads in shame.

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