Stephen McPartland,Member of Parliament for Stevenage has a keen interest in technology issues and has warned that new legislation from the European Commission proposes to charge mobile phone users £400 to use the internet while they are in Europe.
Stephen said “MEPs will vote tomorrow on new mobile roaming regulations, which have the potential to turn back the clock on our mobile phone technology by ten years, as they make it too expensive to access the internet while abroad. We all welcomed the Government’s commitment to force Europe to reduce roaming charges and prices are coming down for texts and voice calls, but there is a potential disaster rushing our way as the Commission has proposed new regulations to cap the cost of using the internet on our mobiles when any of us travel in Europe.
This sounds like a great idea, but they have proposed capping wholesale charges at €100 for one gigabyte ('1GB') of data and retail rates up to five times the wholesale rate, which would mean consumers paying upwards of €500, approximately £420 for 1GB compared with paying under £10 for 1GB at home. This is plainly ridiculous and goes against the European Commission’s commitment to reduce the difference between domestic and roaming data usage prices.