Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Timmy Dooley has said that any attempt to evade new EU data roaming rules by Irish mobile phone operators should be fiercely opposed by the Irish Government.

Deputy Dooley’s comments came as reports emerged that certain mobile phone operators will attempt to circumvent the new rules by defining ‘all you can eat’ data allowances as a service benefit rather than as part of a customer’s core plan.

“This is a cynical, and mean spirited, attempt by big business, intent on keeping the cash cow that is roaming charges alive and well.

Fianna Fáil doesn’t believe that the Irish Government can allow such a situation to emerge, and Minister Naughten must set out in no uncertain terms to the operators that the Government will not allow such a situation to arise.

The EU Commission are resolute in their belief that such attempts would run counter to the new rules which have been in the pipeline for many years.

Irish phone users have been charged exorbitant roaming charges for decades by operators. We are all well aware of people receiving bills for many hundreds of euro for using their phones, while in the EU, to access the internet.

ComReg must ensure that when the new regime comes into force that Irish phone operators comply fully, and are not allowed evade the new ‘roam like home’ scheme.

The time of excessive roaming charges is over. Irish mobile phone operators need to accept this, move on, and focus on the bigger challenges in the Irish market: ensuring that everyone across the island, and not just those in big towns and cities, can access 4G mobile phone services,” concluded Dooley.