Roaming charges to be abolished in 2017

Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.
Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament Martina Anderson.

MEPS have voted to ban mobile phone roaming charges.

The vote, which took place on Monday, will become law on June 15, 2017.

The end to roaming charges will be warmly welcomed by people living and travelling to and from Derry and the Republic.

Sinn Fein MEP, Martina Anderson, welcomed the development but expressed disappointment at length of time people will have to wait before the law comes into practice.

“Roaming charges are a thorn in the side of the thousands of individuals living along the border corridor and who commute across the border to work,” Ms. Anderson told the ‘Journal’.

“The abolition of these charges is something Sinn Féin has been campaigning for for over ten years and we were hopeful that they would be finally eliminated this December.

“Whilst we welcome the commitment that the charges will be removed eventually, it is regrettable that they will continue until June 2017.”

Fianna Fail Donegal County Council Councillor Rena Donaghey said the ban was a long time coming.

“I believe this is long overdue,” said Colr. Donaghey.

“There is no reason why it should still take two years to have the issue sorted.”

Colr. Donaghey went on to ask why consumers must now wait two years before the law comes into practice.

“People who live and travel along border areas are being affected by this daily. We are being exploited by those operators, all traffic should be treated equally,” she said. There is no reason for the extra charges when you consider that some of the exact same companies are operating on both sides of the border. I have been working very closely with my colleague Deputy Charlie McConalogue on this issue for some time and he too is asking why we have to wait another two years,” said Colr. Donaghey.