The European Parliament on Wednesday approved caps on the costs of sending text messages and of surfing the Internet wirelessly outside of a subscriber’s home market, assuring that the new price regime will go into effect throughout the European Union (EU) on July 1. The parliament’s vote recalls a similar action undertaken two years ago with respect to roamed mobile voice calls, for which rates had averaged €1.15 per minute in July 2007 but are now capped at €0.46 per minute. Pointing to inflated data roaming charges, which fluctuate wildly between EU markets, EU Media and Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding spearheaded efforts last year to extend price caps to mobile text and data services. Under the measure adopted by the parliament, rates for roamed text messages would be capped at a maximum of €0.11 (US $0.14) per minute—representing a reduction of more than 60% off the current average rate of €0.28 per minute. Data downloads outside a subscriber’s home market would be capped at €1.00 per megabyte, with a €50.00 cap on monthly data volume to take effect in March 2010. (Subscribers, however, will be able to adjust the level of their maximum volume, and ISPs will have to inform customers when they have downloaded 80% of the agreed-to monthly limit.) The EP also extended caps on mobile voice roaming through 2012 and further reduced caps on voice calls to €0.43 per minute (outgoing) and €0.19 (incoming). Praising the parliament’s action, Reding proclaimed that “European citizens will now be able to see the single market without borders on their phone bills.”