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Capping Internet roaming charges is a triumph for mobile Internet surfers says South East MEP Sharon Bowles

March 3, 2010 11:30 AM

Lib Dem MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament's powerful Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has today welcomed the cut-off limit facility on Internet roaming charges.

The cut-off facility, which entered into force on 1st March 2010, will protect customers downloading from the Internet from "bill shocks" once the bill reaches €50, unless the customer sets the limit themselves. One recent case saw a German man faced with a bill of €46,000 for downloading a TV programme in France.

Sharon Bowles said:

"Since 2007 I have been warning mobile companies to reduce their costs for customers while abroad. It is good news that from now on mobile companies will no longer get away with charging excessively for customers to download data, which I campaigned on to be included in the scope of the EU roaming regulation.

"Last year we saw that phone companies were forced to reduce the cost of texting from abroad from around 40p to 11p. The introduction this month of a cap of €50 on Internet roaming is a triumph for mobile phone users across Europe. Whether you are conducting business or on holiday, you will now be protected from the extortionate costs mobile companies have been charging up until now.

"The implementation of this cap also reflects the growing importance of developing an integrated telecommunications network across Europe. With the recent merger of T-mobile and Orange, and the expansion of many mobile phone companies throughout the continent, one hopes these companies will now internally address the urgent need for driving down the costs of Internet roaming for consumers."