The implementation of data roaming rate caps throughout the European Union (EU) stepped closer to reality on Monday, as the European Parliament’s Industry Committee approved with modifications the rate plan proposed last September by European Commission (EC) Information Society & Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. The proposed caps would resemble those currently in force for mobile voice roaming and would reduce significantly carrier charges that average €0.28 per roamed SMS message and that range as high €0.80 per message in some EU member states. Committee members approved the EC’s proposed cap of €0.11 (US $0.14) per SMS message while mandating maximum data roaming fees of €0.50 (US $0.64) per megabyte that are half the amount proposed by the EC. In contrast to the EC’s plan to impose per-second pricing for roamed calls at the 30-second mark, the committee voted in favor of starting per-second pricing after the first second of a mobile call. The committee also decided to re-evaluate roaming legislation in June 2012 instead of in 2013 as proposed by the EC. Contingent upon full parliamentary approval next month, the caps would go into effect in July. Asserting that, “in view of the current economic downturn, the parliament is right in wanting to strengthen the purchasing power of European consumers,” Reding applauded the committee vote as “very good news.”