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Channel Islands won't scrap data roaming charges

Credit: Friso Gentsch / DPA/ Press Association Images

JT, Airtel-Vodafone and Sure won't be changing their data roaming policy, despite changes in EU legislation.

Fees for calling, sending text messages and using the mobile internet while abroad will be scrapped from summer 2017 elsewhere in Europe, following approval from the European Parliament yesterday.

The refusal to change the policy means travelers from the Channel Islands going abroad will have to pay higher rates than they do at home.

The same goes for those travelling from outside the Islands, when they visit Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney.

Airtel is yet to comment on the story, maintaining that the Channel Islands is not part of the EU. However, Sure and JT released the following statements:

The EU's decision to abolish data roaming charges will not apply to Sure customers in the Channel Islands as the islands are outside of the EU and are not regulated by EU bodies. Sure will continue to negotiate roaming rates with each EU operator individually. Therefore Sure cannot guarantee that it will be able to match EU pricing.

– Mike Fawkner-Corbett, head of product at Sure

The Channel Islands are not part of the EU and hence do not benefit from the new lower EU roaming rates. Nevertheless, JT is always looking for ways to better serve our customers and that is why for nearly a year now we have been proactively negotiating hard, with the more than 150 EU-based operators that supply our customers with roaming across the EU.

Sadly because we are not part of the EU, we don’t have access to the EU-mandated lower roaming rates and that’s why it’s necessary for us to negotiate these 150+ agreements. As such we are delighted to be able to inform our customers that those negotiations have gone well and consequently during July we will be launching new rates for roaming. These rates will be substantially and dramatically lower than we currently have to charge, albeit we will not be able to match exactly the EU rates.

– JT Spokesperson

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