NZ, Aus take on roaming rates

Last updated 06:46 09/02/2013
Julia Gillard and John Key
GIDDAY MATE: Australian prime minister Julia Gillard is greeted by New Zealand prime minister John Key on arrival in Queenstown ahead of their weekend meetings.

Relevant offers


Former GNS Science chief executive was highest-earning CRI boss on $800,000 India cranks up security a notch for Prime Minister John Key's visit Kashmir world's largest prison after crackdown, Palmerston North protest organiser says PM's delegation grounded by a faulty microswitch, airforce confirms Pattrick Smellie: Global trade politics just got harder NZ Fire Service to train Syria's 'White Helmets' civil defence volunteers Serco-run Wiri prison towards bottom of Corrections prison rankings Chris Laidlaw chosen as chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council Former MPs and spouses spend over $700k on taxpayer-funded travel New Zealand under a Gary McCormick regime

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.

Both governments are hoping to extend the new powers to cover roaming charges in other countries over time - including the United States, United Kingdom and the Pacific Islands.

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.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams said she could not comment on today's announcement - but confirmed it had been an issue that worried both governments for some time.

"It concerns me greatly when I hear stories of people going to Australia for a holiday but then come home to find their phone bill costs more than the actual holiday. That's just not acceptable.

"It is my expectation that New Zealanders at home and across the Tasman should be able to expect fair and equitable pricing and a clear understanding of the costs."

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."

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content