I’m free to roam. Well, almost. On Friday, I’m heading off to France, so the news this month that mobile phone companies have had to halve their roaming charges is very welcome. Operators are being forced to cut the costs for people surfing the net using their mobile devices across the European Union.
During my fortnight away in Bergerac, I’ll be relying on my iPad and my mobile phone to keep this blog updated. That’s a challenge in itself – and, frankly, in the past it’s been an expensive one too.
It’s not just roaming charges that are affected: the cost of calls abroad has also been slashed.
It’s all thanks to the EU. News of the move has cheered even the most Europhobic parts of the British press. Both the European Commission and European Parliament have come in for widespread praise.
What is even better about these changes is that phone companies will have to drop roaming charges altogether by the end of next year.
I rang my phone provider to check the state of play. Currently, they are charging £8 a day for internet access from my iPad. When I asked if that would come free as part of my package from next year, there was a pause, then finally, “Erm, yes.”
In a single market, that seems only fair.