The Slovenia Times

Broadband internet access to become universal service


The news was announced on Tuesday by the Agency for Communication Networks and Services (AKOS), which said the updated regulations would be published in the Official Gazette this week and enter into effect at the end of June.

Universal service obligation represents the minimal package of telecommunications services that have to be accessible to every end-user across Slovenia, with the price the same in the entire territory regardless of the actual cost of service.

The current scope of universal service obligation includes services such as phone directory, access to the public telecommunications network, fixed-line telephone access and public payphones.

Until the end of 2019 the only provider offering universal service is the state-owned telco Telekom Slovenije.

AKOS director Tanja Muha said that Slovenia would join only a handful of countries in Europe to include broadband in the universal package, which was crucial for bridging the digital gap in rural areas.

The agency initially wanted minimum speeds to be 10 Mbit/s, but operators called for a lower threshold. Muha said 4 Mbit/s was still enough for e-commerce services such as email, e-banking, social media and online shopping.

The universal service provider will be allowed to chose whether to secure the minimum speed via a fixed line, wirelessly, via satellite or a hybrid solution.

The agency estimates roughly 4,600 households which do not have the possibility of internet access will be covered by the new rules.


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