ZDNet Petition For Fair Data Roaming
The mobile phone is an essential part of people's lives worldwide. So is the internet, which has become part of almost everything we do. Mobile access to the internet is no longer a luxury, it is a modern necessity. By making this possible for ordinary people, the mobile industry has helped create a true global revolution.
This revolution is denied to travellers through iniquitous and unsupportable data roaming charges.
First, good access to personal and local information is far more important when abroad, which is the very time that these charges cut people off from the internet.
Second, the industry depends on innovation - and a whole class of important and exciting products and services cannot be developed because data roaming charges makes them too expensive to use.
Third, the charges themselves bear no relation to their true costs, are arbitrary, excessive, badly explained and anti-competitive.
Therefore, we call on mobile networks worldwide to publicly agree to three principles of data roaming.
The Charter For Fair Data Roaming
The cost networks charge each other for carrying customer data should be declared to the networks' local regulators, who should publish regular market reports giving consumers reasonable insight into the charges.
Within two years:
Prices mobile networks charge each other for carrying each other's customers' data should be no more than 100 percent higher than the actual cost of carrying that data.
Prices mobile networks charge their own customers for data roaming on other networks should be no more than 100 percent higher than the cost charged by those other networks to the customers' network.
The networks should work towards an open and free market in data roaming, giving consumers the ability to choose roaming deals independently of their domestic contract.