By Jo Best, Published: Friday 2 February 2007
Motto: 'So tell me, Mr Operator, have you been playing nicely?'The national consultations, preparing a discussion within the Council of EU Ministers on the proposed measure are underway. The good news is, that the operators are being put under pressure. The bad news is, that the Lords' initial position opens wide the way for national operators to trade away the cap on roaming charges by promising a slight reduction of national charges.
The House of Lords is to investigate the thorny issue of roaming and is calling for opinions from the UK public on the issue.
The Lords is planning to investigate the resolution recently proposed by the EC to curb the prices operators are allowed to charge consumers when making calls abroad.
The Lords EU Committee will investigate whether costs charged by operators within the EU are excessive; whether lowering charges for roaming will lead to consumers being charged more for other services; and how the industry has performed with self-regulation within the last two years.
The Committee will be putting the EC's draft proposals under the microscope all next week. [...]
The Lords' first session will take place next week, with representatives of 3 and O2 giving evidence.
A number of operators, including 3 and O2, have acted to pre-empt the Commission's move to cap wholesale roaming charges, ostensibly to prevent a similar decision on retail rates.
The Lords Committee is also considering the utility of introducing a sunrise clause before any roaming caps come into force and whether any retail caps are necessary."