EU Telecommunications Commissioner Viviane Reding’s year-long campaign to slash mobile telephony roaming rates cleared an important hurdle yesterday, as the European Parliament’s industry committee voted in favor of capping EU-wide per-minute roaming rates at € 40-cents (U.S. 54-cents) for outgoing calls and € 15-cents (U.S. 20-cents) for incoming calls. Complaining that average roaming rates of €1.15 (U.S. $1.54) per-minute charged by many EU carriers far exceed the actual cost of such calls (€ 20-cents or U.S. 27-cents), Reding proposed legislation last year that would cut roaming rates by as much as 70%. Since Reding’s plan was disclosed, various EU wireless operators have reduced their rates voluntarily and have also called for caps no lower than € 65-cents (outgoing) and € 35-cents (incoming). The rates approved by the industry committee go farther than recommended caps of € 50-cents and € 25-cents endorsed by EU member states. The committee also specified that its rates would apply automatically to “all existing and new roaming customers,” unless such customers “deliberately opt for another tariff.” Pending votes on the proposal by the full European parliament and by EU telecom ministers, the rates are expected to go into effect in June.