Hain promises all Ireland phone tariffs.
Great news for mobile phone users in border regions as it seems that pressure is to be put on mobile phone companies to introduce all-Ireland tariffs. This is an issue which I have brought up on this blog in the past and its great to see that it finally seems to be being dealt with.
According to reports, Secretary of State Peter Hain has warned that things could get "pretty tough" for phone operators if they don't agree to drop the roaming charges that hike up some users' bills in border regions.
These roaming charges are a disgrace. They exploit phone users in border regions in an attempt to suck every last penny possible away from the consumer. There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to receive or make a phone call because your phone has switched signal even though you are often still in the north. The problem is particularly bad in South Armagh where huge areas have no northern reception. If I want to receive a call while watching a football match in Crossmaglen, its liable to cost a fortune for both myself and the person making the call.
Like so many other problems, an all-Ireland solution is the best way forward. I sincerely hope that Peter Hain lives up to his word and doesn't let the mobile phone companies wriggle off the hook on this issue.