ST monopoly to end in 2003

THE MONOPOLY enjoyed by incumbent Slovak Telecom on local loops will be abolished as of January 1, 2003, as originally planned.

Parliament ruled on June 20 to halt the monopoly by approving a cabinet-tailored draft revision to the Telecom Law. Although some deputies had proposed to postpone unbundling local loops for one year, only 19 MPs out of 102 present in the 150-seat legislature voted for the delay.

Several European Union telecoms regulations were incorporated into the revision. The unbundling of local loops will finally enable competition in Internet services. Moreover, the revision increases the powers of the Telecom Office market regulator, and modifies the licensing regime.

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