Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says Irish mobile phone operators should not be allowed to evade new EU data roaming rules.  He’s calling on the Government to intervene to prevent any moves by telecoms companies to flout the new regulations.

Deputy McConalogue explained, “These cynical tactics being employed by some mobile phone companies is extremely mean-spirited and flies in the face of the new EU regulations, which are designed to protect the consumer.  It’s being reported that mobile operators are planning to redefine ‘all you can eat’ data allowances as a service benefit rather than a core element of a pay plan.

“For years customers have been paying inflated charges for mobile and data roaming and now that the EU has intervened in the interest of the consumer, these companies are attempting to find a loophole to continue charging these inflated rates.  This is deeply unfair and is in direct conflict with the EU rules.

“People living in Donegal are disproportionately affected by roaming charges, as more than 3,000 people work across the border in Derry.  When the EU roaming rules were announced, they came as a welcome relief for these workers, but now there are real fears that the mobile companies will be able to use a loophole to jilt loyal customers.

“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.

“Mobile phone operators need to accept the fact that excessive roaming charges are at an end.  Any attempts to dodge these new rules must be forcefully dealt with by Minister Naughten and ComReg.  The focus should be on improving mobile coverage across Ireland, particularly in rural areas and not on slapping extortionate fees on customers,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.