West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Announcement to abolish roaming charges a major milestone-Doherty

Published: 24 June, 2013

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has described the announcement by the European Commission that it plans to abolish roaming charges by the summer of 2014 as a major milestone reached in the campaign to do away with this form of unjust profiteering by mobile phone companies.

The local MP said,

"Residents and those operating businesses along the border corridor have been particularly heavily penalised by these unjust charges down through the years and it is unacceptable that this situation has been allowed to continue for so long.

"How multinational mobile phone operators can justify charging consumers excessive premiums to use their phone on another network within the same parent company, at no additional cost to these companies, has been simply wrong and immoral.

"Sinn Féin has been to the fore of the campaign to get rid of these charges on an all-Ireland basis in all the elected forums available to us including through the Joint Committee on the Implementation Committee of the GFA of which I am member.

"Similar pressure has been building against these iniquitous charges right across Europe with the 27 European Commissioners recently voting to fast track major reforms of telecoms regulations, which aim to merge all 27 EU countries in a single telecom market.

"So with Thursday's announcement in Dublin by Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, that the body plans to press for the complete abolition of roaming by the summer of 2014 represents a major milestone reached in this long standing campaign.

"Concrete details will be agreed upon and published within the next number of weeks and it is possible that these proposals could come into effect as soon as July 1st, 2014 but the pressure now needs to be maintained to ensure that there is no slippage in this timeframe.