Ofcom should review roaming charges, says Flanagan

Published: 18 Jul 2012 15:15

FERMANAGH and South Tyrone MLA Phil Flanagan says there needs to be an urgent review by Ofcom into roaming charges in Fermanagh.

Phil Flanagan MLA.

The Sinn Fein assembly member says the regulator must address the "blatant rip-off" for customers.

"In November last year, in advance of a motion I brought before the Assembly calling for the abolition of roaming charges across Ireland, I met with representatives of Ofcom and requested that it research the cost of inadvertent roaming on consumers. Ofcom agreed and based on a 2007 report approximated that inadvertent roaming had cost consumers here in the region of £11 million in excess charges.

"Although grateful to the staff at Ofcom for their cooperation in providing information on this issue I am calling on the regulatory bodies north and south to finally address this blatant rip-off of Irish consumers by creating criteria for the issue of all-Ireland licences.

"The excuse of two separate jurisdictions is not acceptable. We have a unique problem here in that we share a very small geographic land area where social, commercial and personal business are all interdependent and all obstacles to free flowing communication at reasonable rates must be removed. Unique problems require unique and imaginative solutions and I don't accept that it is beyond our Regulatory bodies or our political institutions to resolve this perennial problem," he said.

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