FOCUS SHORT

Operators pessimistic about covering “white spots”

LEADING operators in Slovakia are not very optimistic that they will be able to agree on providing broadband internet coverage for so-called "white spots" (i.e. uncovered areas) in Slovakia, the SITA newswire wrote on September 23.

LEADING operators in Slovakia are not very optimistic that they will be able to agree on providing broadband internet coverage for so-called "white spots" (i.e. uncovered areas) in Slovakia, the SITA newswire wrote on September 23.

Slovak Telekom’s (ST) president and chairman of the company's board of directors, Miroslav Majoroš, indicated there could be an agreement that would remove certain non-systematic approaches to covering places without high-speed internet access by using EU funds earmarked for informatisation projects.
He described as a big problem the fact that there are some places not covered at all while in others three operators are installing fibre-optic cables at the same time. The representative of the dominant fixed-line provider said that it is fully aware that any possible cooperation has to be in compliance with regulatory rules.

A spokesman for mobile operator Orange Slovakia, Peter Tóth, says possible agreement on the division of territories by providers is unrealistic. The company UPC Broadband Slovakia said it is expanding its service to individual localities based on its strategic plans and interests. However, alternative operator Slovanet expressed hopes for an agreement between operators.

Slovanet said it supports strategic building of infrastructure in order to maximise accessibility for users. However, it said this is conditional on mutual provision of operators' infrastructure to rivals.

About €113.1 million is allocated for the third priority axis “Broadband” of the government’s OPIS for the years 2007-2013.

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