Sir Graham Watson, South West MEP, is throwing his weight behind plans to abolish once and for all mobile roaming charges when using mobile phones or tablet computers when you travel abroad.
European Commissioner Neelie Kroes has launched an initiative to accelerate the current timetable for bringing down the cost of using a mobile phone abroad. If the plans go through, it will mean that costs will be the equivalent of using your phone at home. They will be in place by 2015 – a policy long advocated by the Liberal Democrats.
Between 2012 and 2014 EU laws will have forced the cost of mobile data down from around 65p per MB to less than 20p. The cost for receiving a phone call has dropped by more than half and the new laws would see that cost disappear altogether.
Graham told the PRSD: “For too long, anyone travelling to other parts of the European Union has faced extortionate costs to make a call, send a text or access the internet.Mobile phone companies have been allowed to get away with charging someone to receive a phone call, whether they want it or not. I am pleased to see that we are nearing the end of this practice.
“By 2015, these costs will be abolished if the proposals go ahead, meaning that holidaymakers and business travellers will pay the same abroad as they do here.
“This will also be an added incentive for more visitors to come to the UK and the Westcountry on their holidays, boosting tourism in a region that relies so heavily on holidaymakers for jobs and growth.
“This is where an active European Union comes into its own. Opening up markets and bringing down costs of travel and communication – ensuring that consumers and businesses are at the forefront of a stronger economy and a fairer society.”
“Of course, charges would be re-introduced if Britain left the EU.”
(from a press release)