Deputy Telecom Minister Dušan Faktor has expressed disappointment with parliament’s narrow failure to pass a bill requiring telecom monopoly ST to rent its hard lines next year to competing firms in line with planned market liberalisation.
The bill, which was to have taken effect next January, would have forced ST to drop its prices on voice services, and would also have made Internet access cheaper, the official said. Slovakia has the most expensive Internet access prices of any OECD member country when living standards are taken into account, a fact which independent access providers have said is holding back the development of the technology in the country.
The measure wound up four votes short of the majority it needed in the 150-seat chamber, with four government deputies rejecting the bill.
Although parliament originally passed the draft law in June, President Rudolf Schuster sent it back for further debate because he thought the fines that could be applied to ST for disobeying the rules were too harsh.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
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