Prague, 16 June 2020 – CTU welcomes the ombudsman’s interest and initiative to engage in the issue of public payphones.
In reaction to the ombudsman’s communication, deciding to initiate own review of CTU’s intent no to impose an obligation to operate public payphones starting from next year, both Heads met for a discussion.
Both parties thoroughly discussed the above mentioned issue and backgrounds for their opinions. CTU provided documents used when formulating its intent. The ombudsman acquainted himself with the documents and assured the CTU Council Chair that he has never questioned society’s move towards broader use of mobile phones and, linked to that, that the communication via public payphones is increasingly substituted by mobile phones. Thanks to the gradual coverage process of places without mobile network’s signal, so-called white spots, the use of mobile phones is a suitable alternative.
Although the ombudsman said, that it is not necessary to preserve public payphones at all costs, it is necessary to ensure availability of voice services for the most vulnerable persons, especially in situations, when they cannot use the mobile phone for various reasons (e.g., persons exposed to domestic violence or affected by an unexpected emergency situation etc.). The CTU Council Chair promised, she will seek a solution to ensure an adequate substitution for such persons. The ombudsman expressed his support.
Czech Telecommunication Office