Donegal tourists helped send EU data usage skyrocketing

Data usage by Irish holidaymakers in the EU soared by over 200 per cent in last summer.

New figures show that it increased by 218 per cent between July and September 2017.

The massive jump in usage occurred after roaming charges were scrapped last June 15.

From that day on, hefty charges for sending texts or making phone calls while abroad in an EU country were wiped out.

For example, if you have free calls and texts to every network when you are at home in Ireland, you are also entitled to the same package while abroad.

Also from June 15, higher data allowance credits were guaranteed for phone customers before the higher charges applied.

But having an all-you-can-eat data plan in Ireland did not last summer mean that all customers could avail of the same offer when roaming in the EU.

This is believed to be a result of operators examining the potential of a possible loophole.

The EU Commission stated that everyone should be able to “call, text and surf on their mobile devices when abroad in the EU for no extra charge”.

However, some operators claimed their data offering was classed as a “service benefit” rather than a “core” principle of some customers’ contracts.

Donegal holidaymakers, who are travelling abroad to other EU countries this summer, are advised to check their operator’s charges and pricing structure because data roaming charges still apply.

When customers go over their allowance, they can be hit with expensive roaming charges.

The information has been released by Dublin Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes during comments about a document that was published by the Body of European Regulators in Electronic Communications.

The changes marked a decade of attempts by EU lawmakers to eliminate roaming charges across member states.

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