European politicians call for lower data roaming charges

Members of the European parliament (MEPs) are calling on the European Union to implement curbs on Internet roaming charges. The MEPs claim that Internet access using a handset is hundreds of times more expensive when travelling than at home, and will remain so for the next 10 years under proposed European Commission proposals.

"We need better value for the consumer," Irish MEP Sean Kelly told the Guardian, who wants the cost of 1GB to fall to €90 by 2014. "The commission's proposals were somewhat generous to the industry. The single market is about free movement of goods, free movement of people. We should be aiming to have no roaming charge at all."

The European parliament is planning a mid-year vote on new roaming caps that will limit the amount mobile operators can charge travellers. The parliament has proposed that tariff caps, intended to run until 2022, could be set at €500 for 1GB, but MEPs have called for lower charges. Article