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MEPs backing lower roaming charges

March 12, 2009 9:00 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
Adina-Ioana Valean MEP

MEP Adina-Ioana Valean from Romania

The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy committee meeting in Strasbourg has voted in favour of further reductions in mobile-phone roaming charges. The report on the "Roaming 2" regulation, drafted by ALDE (Lib Dem) MEP Adina-Ioana Valean from Romania extends the regulation for voice roaming and widens its scope to include roaming SMS text and data services, as well as including more transparency measures.

The committee backed a year-on-year cut in the maximum charge per minute for voice roaming calls sent or received abroad. The maximum cost of making or receiving a call on a foreign network would fall in August.

The members of the committee also voted to cap the cost of sending a text message from this July. The duration of the regulation would also be extended until 2012, with the possibility of further extension.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said: "This vote is the result of hard work by the report's Liberal Democrat author. Liberal Democrats in Brussels are once again standing up for consumer rights at this 'credit crunch' time when cutting costs and saving money has never been more important."

"The cost for a UK consumer of sending a text message when abroad is often much higher than the cost to a Continental user. This scandalous levy highlights the vast difference between the cost to the operator and the outlandish charges the consumer is being forced to pay."

"The regulation of data charges should put a stop to the nasty shocks that people receive when they return from holiday, open their bills and see they have been charged a fortune. Mobile companies ought anyway to offer cut-off limits to stop the danger of charges silently mounting up."

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