National telecoms watchdog the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) plans to cut termination fees for domestic telecommunications operators from CZK1.08 (USD0.05) a minute, to CZK0.55 from 1 July, Pravo reports citing the regulator’s spokesman, Frantisek Malina as saying. The paper says that to this end the watchdog has launched proceedings with national players Telefonica O2 CR, Vodafone CR and T-Mobile CR to discuss the cuts.
The regulator’s move follows recent criticism from the government over the CTU’s performance in governing the sector. On 6 March CommsUpdate reported that Czech industry minister Martin Kuba is calling for structural change at the national telecoms watchdog in a bid to stop local telcos from, in his words, ‘gouging citizens and companies’. The Czech Minister of Industry and Trade is calling for a complete overhaul in the way the under fire CTU operates in a bid to drive down end user prices for residential and business users. In a strident statement, Civic Democrat (ODS) minister Mr Kuba expressed his unhappiness at the record of the regulator and its handling of the domestic market, and pledged to appoint new members to its board to effect change. Kuba’s statement was in reaction to criticism of the CTU, the most recent coming only this month, which bemoans the fact that the Czech people pay more for lower quality phone services than almost anywhere else in Europe. Critics argue that as a result of the watchdog’s laissez faire attitude, local telcos have been able to maintain the status quo.