Austrians may not have access to mobile telephony services in the rest of the European Union without paying roaming charges despite repeated promises – and EU law ensuring that they will be able to “Roam Like at Home” after June 15th.
The Austrian regulator, Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs (RTR), responded to an email inquiry on June 6th saying:
“Referring to your inquiry if roaming surcharges will be charged after 15th
June, we would like to inform you that we cannot say with certainty that no surchages [sic] will be charged after this date.”
Last week, a New Europe investigation uncovered several service providers receiving exemptions from national regulating authorities from Roam Like at Home’s requirement that service providers provide roaming in other EU member states and Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland at the cost of a customer’s domestic plan.
Under Article 6 of the EU Regulation that created Roam Like at Home, service providers may apply to their national regulating authority for an exemption to allow them to charge customers for roaming abroad. Exemptions are to only be granted to companies that prove they will be unable to recoup their “actual or projected costs” of providing roaming services. The exemption allows companies to apply surcharges to recover the cost of providing roaming services.