Trace Watkins reports:
Australia and New Zealand regulators will get new powers to crack down on exorbitant mobile phone roaming rates both sides of the Tasman.
Prime Minister John Key and his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard are expected to announce the changes today after meetings in Queenstown.
They will give the Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission the power to set price caps, or force operators to offer local access services that do not require a change of SIM card.
This looks like a good step to me. Fair to mention though things are a lot better now with Telecom’s flat rate roaming deal.
The changes follow a lengthy investigation and horror stories about holiday makers returning home with mobile phone charges steeper than the cost of their holiday.
While prices had dropped recently, that was only because the threat of legislation hung over telecommunications providers, she said.
“When the work began on the report, New Zealanders were facing mobile data charges of up to $30 per megabit but the price had now dropped in most cases to 50c per megabit.”
I think you mean megabyte.
Even 50c is massive. Domestic charges are around 0.1c per MB or $1 per GB.