Fianna Fáil Communications Spokesperson, Timmy Dooley TD has criticised the apparent U-Turn by the European Commission on the proposal end roaming charges.

“The European Commission has proposed to insert a ‘fair usage’ clause which flies in the face of the original decision of the parliament.”

“The Commission has simply ignored the express will of the European Parliament which called for the end of all roaming charges, and are attempting to insert get out clauses for telecoms communications. “

“The end of roaming charges should mean simply that – an end to all roaming charges. The attempt by the Commission to protect telecom companies by forcing customers to log into their home network every 30 days is contrary to both the spirit and objective of the EU parliament decision.”

“Tomorrow, I will meet with Commissioner Andrus Ansip, who has responsibility for the digital single market and telecoms regulation. I will stress that roaming charges must be ended in their entirety,” added Dooley.

“My colleagues in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Group in the EU parliament have fought over many years to end roaming charges, and to deepen the European Single Market,” added Deputy Dooley.

“For years, Irish tourists and business people have been hit hard by outrageous bills for using internet services while overseas.”

“Irish people face particular challenges as different telecoms companies operate on either side of the border. It makes zero sense that people living in Dundalk face paying exorbitant roaming charges if they decide to visit friends and family in Newry and want to use their phones.”

“We can’t talk about increasing cross-border trade, tourism and investment when this artificial cost is being forced on neighbours, tourists and business people.”

“This initiative is one of the most positive to come from the European Institutions in years, and cannot be diluted,” concluded Dooley.