Trans-Tasman travellers are set for a long-overdue win next year as the Australian and New Zealand governments move to slash the cost of mobile roaming fees.
While Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have each introduced cut-price roaming deals in recent months, the joint government proposal would go further by introducing a mandatory price caps on calls and data.
This would be a similar arrangement to the EU's roaming regulation, which currently sets a maximum price of €45c/MB for data, €24c/minute to make a call and €7c/minute to receive a call, plus €8c to send an SMS.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard set things in motion in February this year, joining her Kiwi counterpart John Key to announce new roaming oversight powers for each country's communications regulators, but Australia's Labor government failed to seal the deal before losing power in last month's election.
Download: click here to download the joint Australia / New Zealand government report on trans-Tasman roaming (1.3MB PDF)
Now it's in the hands of the Coalition government, and signs are that freshly-minted Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will push through with the proposal.
According to a report from AAP, a spokesman for Turnbull's office confirmed that "The Minister for Communications is consulting with his colleagues on the proposed arrangements with New Zealand."
"While this consultation is still ongoing, the government is viewing the proposed arrangements positively."
Things are also in motion over the ocean, with a spokesman for New Zealand Communications Minister Amy Adams saying that "legislation is being drafted for introduction early next year."
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