Politicians rubber stamp deal to push through lower data prices bill in the Czech Republic

6 Mar 2017

Reuters reports that several political parties in the Czech Republic have agreed to fast-track a telecoms bill that would reduce mobile phone bills, and specifically mobile data charges. Speaking last Friday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that the bill will be presented before elections in October. The move comes amid criticism of the country’s largest mobile operators – O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone – which stand accused of levying some of the highest voice and data charges in mainland Europe. Last month PM Sobotka sacked his industry minister after accusing him of being too passive on the matter. ‘I welcome this agreement, because it guarantees customers that their rights will improve by the end of this election cycle,’ the prime minister said. It is understood that as politicians have reached a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ on the bill, legislators will start work on the bill on 4 April; the new legislation will give more powers to the regulator, Czech Telecommunication Office (Cesky telekomunikacni urad, CTU), to impose heavier fines and improve consumer rights to protect them from ‘unfair’ contracts.