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Slovak Telekom nailed over non-accessible booths

The country's leading fixed-line telephone operator, Slovak Telekom, has broken the law by not providing barrier-free access at one-quarter of its phone booths.

The market regulator, the Telecommunications Office, reported the findings on August 21 following an inspection this summer, the SITA newswire reported.

The Telecommunications Office 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 Slovak Telekom 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 users about the emergency call number.

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

Slovak Telekom is required to operate barrier-free public phone booths, and to provide free and non-stop access to emergency calls from booths, by an EU directive, which was included in the Law on Electronic Communications.

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