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Slovak Telecom needs more accessible booths, regulator says

The country's leading fixed-line telephone operator, Slovak Telekom, a.s. (ST), has not provided barrier-free access at one-quarter of its phone booths, as required by law.

The market regulator, the Telecommunications Office, reported the findings on August 21 following a recent inspection.

Slovak Telekom did not mark barrier-free booths that are located on premises available 24 hours a day to the public.

The Telecommunications Office also found that almost 58 percent of the booths it checked that were required to be barrier-free did not meet the criteria. The booths were not placed at public premises that are open 24 hours, and were not
marked as barrier-free, although the operator said they were.

Slovak Telekom fared the worst in the Žilina area, where nearly 80 percent of the booths that were inspected did not meet the set conditions.

The inspection also found that 10.8 percent of the booths it checked did not enable calls to an emergency number. Another 20.8 percent did allow calls in mobile networks, 18.7 percent did not connect local calls, and 3.1 percent did not inform about the emergency call number.

The regulator has ordered Slovak Telekom to correct the situation by the end of October.

The inspection was conducted from mid-May to early July across the country.

The duty to operate barrier-free public phone booths and provide free and non-stop access to emergency calls from booths comes from an EU directive, which was included in the Law on Electronic Communications. The Telecommunications Office imposed this duty on Slovak Telekom.

When the regulator decided which company would continue to provide universal service, Slovak Telekom was the only operator interested in providing universal service to the full extent.

-SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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