Internet in the Czech Republic

Internet in the Czech Republic and Internet access are largely provided by the private sector and is available in a variety of forms, using a variety of technologies, at a wide range of speeds and costs. In 2013, 68% of Czechs were connected to the Internet.[1]

StatusEdit

  • Internet users: 7.6 million, 45th in the world; 75.0% of the population, 37th in the world (2012).[2]
  • Fixed broadband: 1.7 million subscriptions, 46th in the world; 16.6% of the population, 56th in the world (2012).[3]
  • Mobile broadband: 4.5 million subscriptions, 41st in the world; 44.0% of the population, 36th in the world (2012).[4]
  • Hosts: 4.1 million, 27th in the world (2012).[5]
  • IPv4: 8.0 million addresses allocated, 0.2% of world total, 790 per 1000 persons (2012).[6]
  • Top level domain: .cz

WirelessEdit

Wi-FiEdit

Because ADSL was very expensive for an average worker in its early days, an enormous number of wireless ISPs (WISPs) (based on 802.11 Wi-Fi technology) came into existence offering reasonably priced monthly-plans since 2003. At the beginning of 2008, there were over 800 mostly local WISPs[7][8] that had enormous market share of the Internet access. It is estimated Wi-Fi ISPs have about 350 000 subscribers by 2007. The Czech Republic has the most Wi-Fi subscriber in the whole European Union.[9][10] There are both commercial and community wireless networks.

MobileEdit

Mobile data plans are being offered by all four mobile phone operators (T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and Nordic Telecom). Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2 offer connection using the LTE, GPRS and EDGE technology. 5G networks are being switched on in some locations (for example in the Prague Metro).[11]

On 31 March 2021, Vodafone switched off their 3G (UMTS) network.[12] T-Mobile is planning to switch their 3G network off at the end of November 2021.[13] O2 announced a shutdown of their 3G network running from 31 May to 30 November 2021.[14]

CDMA2000 networks have been switched off already.

Comparison of mobile data plans (data-only plans without voice)
Company Plan name Technology Maximum download speed/(kbit/s) Maximum upload speed/(kbit/s) Data limit/GB Monthly price incl. VAT/CZK Source
O2 Data+ Modrý 2 GB 4G LTE ? ? 2/month 199 [15]
O2 Data+ Bronzový 10 GB 4G LTE ? ? 10/month 399 [15]
O2 Data+ Stříbrný 30 GB 4G LTE ? ? 30/month 649 [15]
Vodafone Red Data+ 10 GB 4G LTE ? ? 10/month 399 [16]
Nordic Telecom LTE mobilní data 4GB 4G LTE 5000 5000 4/month 295 [17]
Nordic Telecom LTE mobilní data 8GB 4G LTE 5000 5000 8/month 395 [17]

Fixed-wiredEdit

ADSL/VDSLEdit

In the Czech Republic, ADSL became commercially available at the beginning of 2003, by then-monopoly operator Český Telecom with basic speeds from 192/64 kbit/s to 1024/256 kbit/s. The start-up of ADSL was very slow due to overpriced plans (~€350 per month for 1024/256 kbit). At the beginning of 2004, local loop unbundling began, and alternative operators started to offer ADSL (and also SDSL). This, and later privatisation of Český Telecom, helped to drive down prices. On 1 July 2006, Český Telecom was renamed to Telefónica O2 Czech Republic. As of 2009, ADSL2+ was offered in three variants, mostly without data limits (Fair User Policy - limiting link speed based on amount of transferred data). The speed varied depending on the loop length up to 20 Mbit/s.[citation needed]

In 2015, O2 Czech Republic (owned by PPF) was split into two companies: CETIN, which owns the fixed and mobile network, and the mobile operator, O2.[18] CETIN is offering its cable network not only to O2, but also to another ISPs. Maximum speeds vary per each ISP (250 Mbit/s, 1 Gbit/s, etc.).[19]

CETIN has been building remote DSLAMs around the Czech Republic. They are supposed to be installed instead of existing network nodes connected through a copper cable. Remote DSLAMs are connected to a fibre network, so old copper lines (from DSLAM to customer) can transmit higher speeds.

The typical ADSL/VDSL (no limits/no data cap) connection offered is from 20/2Mbit up to 100/10Mbit. For short local loops, 250/25 Mbit/s plan is offered by some VDSL3 (G.Fast) internet providers.[citation needed]

CableEdit

Cable internet offers higher download speeds up to 1000 Mbit/s. The biggest ISP, UPC (which has been acquired by Vodafone in 2019[20] - Vodafone and UPC then merged) is providing its service mainly in big cities and attractive locations.[citation needed]

Internet censorship and surveillanceEdit

There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight. Individuals and groups engage in the free expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail.[21]

The law provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combine to ensure freedom of speech and of the press. However, the law provides for some exceptions to these freedoms, for example, in cases of "hate speech", Holocaust denial, and denial of Communist-era crimes. The law prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.[21]

Since 2008, mobile operators T-Mobile[22] and Vodafone[23][24] pass mobile and fixed Internet traffic through Cleanfeed, which uses data provided by the Internet Watch Foundation to identify pages believed to contain indecent photographs of children, and racist materials.

On 13 August 2009, Telefónica O2 Czech Republic, Czech DSL incumbent and mobile operator, started to block access to sites listed by the Internet Watch Foundation. The company said it wanted to replace the list with data provided by Czech Police.[25] The rollout of the blocking system attracted public attention due to serious network service difficulties and many innocent sites mistakenly blocked. The specific blocking implementation is unknown but it is believed that recursive DNS servers provided by the operator to its customers have been modified to return fake answers diverting consequent TCP connections to an HTTP firewall.[26]

On 6 May 2010, T-Mobile Czech Republic officially announced[27] that it was starting to block web pages promoting child pornography, child prostitution, child trafficking, pedophilia and illegal sexual contact with children. T-Mobile claimed that its blocking was based on URLs from the Internet Watch Foundation list and on individual direct requests made by customers.

Since 1 January 2017, internet service providers are obligated to prevent from accessing "internet sites" listed on non-permitted internet games list. The list is maintained by Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic.[28] The motivation is to make obstacle in reaching unregulated and untaxed foreign internet lotteries by Czech citizens and to protect lottery companies that obeyed the Czech regulations.

On 25 February 2022, as a result of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, CZ.NIC decided to suspend 8 domains of conspiracy and fake news websites spreading Russian propaganda.[29][30] On the same day, the cybernetic unit of the Czech military Intelligence has asked internet service providers to block access to 22 websites (including 8 domains above), while the blocking is voluntary.[31][32]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ČSÚ: Necelá třetina českých domácností ještě nemá PC a připojení k internetu". International Data Group. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  3. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012, accessed 17 June 2013
  6. ^ Select Formats Archived 13 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  7. ^ "Wi-Fi: Poskytovatelé bezdrátového připojení". internetprovsechny.cz. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Bezdrátové připojení k internetu". bezdratovepripojeni.cz. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
  9. ^ 2007 WiFi survey EN Archived 20 December 2007 at archive.today
  10. ^ openspectrum.info - Czech Republic Archived 9 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Fišer, Miloslav (7 December 2020). "5G signál v metru se rozšiřuje. Před koncem roku bude v polovině stanic" (in Czech). Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Vodafone Czechia to switch off 3G network this month". 19 March 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  13. ^ "T-MOBILE MODERNIZUJE SVOJI SÍŤ, 3G SKONČÍ NA KONCI LISTOPADU" (in Czech). 19 April 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  14. ^ Krčmář, Petr (18 March 2021). "O2 bude vypínat svou 3G síť, hotovo bude do konce listopadu" (in Czech). Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  15. ^ a b c http://www.o2.cz/osobni/internet-na-cesty/ (in Czech)
  16. ^ https://www.vodafone.cz/internet/mobilni-internet/ (in Czech)
  17. ^ a b https://www.nordictelecom.cz/mobilni-internet (in Czech)
  18. ^ "PPF Group's History".
  19. ^ "Zrychlujeme Česko" (in Czech).
  20. ^ "Acquisition of UPC". n.d. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Czech Republic", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  22. ^ "T-Mobile jde do UMTS FDD a do blokování nelegálního obsahu" (T-Mobile goes into UMTS FDD and blocking of illegal content), Jiří Peterka, Lupa.cz, 16 December 2008
  23. ^ "Vodafone chrání nezletilé před nevhodným obsahem na webu" (Vodafone protects minors from inappropriate web content), press release, vodafone.cz, 26 June 2008
  24. ^ "Stalo se: je cenzura Internetu už i v ČR?", Jiří Peterka, Lupa.cz, 30 June 2008
  25. ^ "Klienti Telefóniky O2 si stěžují na blokování webů" (Telefonica O2 confirmed it plans to filter customers access to illegal Web sites), Jiří Macich ml., Lupa.cz, 14 August 2009
  26. ^ "Stalo se: Už i Telefónica přistoupila k blokování", Jiří Peterka, Lupa.cz, 17 August 2009
  27. ^ "T-Mobile pomáhá v boji proti zneužívání dětí blokováním nelegálního obsahu" (T-Mobile helps in the fight against the abuse of children by blocking illegal content) Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, press release, T-Mobile.cz, 6 May 2010
  28. ^ "Parliament press #578, Government amendment of the Act on Hazardous Games", Lower chamber of the Czech Parliament, 1 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  29. ^ Sedlák, Jan. "Správce národní domény kvůli dezinformacím o Ukrajině zablokoval Aeronet a další proruské weby". Lupa.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  30. ^ "‚Hybridně působí ve prospěch Ruska.' Vojenští rozvědčíci zveřejnili dopis, proč žádali blokaci webů". iROZHLAS (in Czech). Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  31. ^ Slížek, David (25 May 2022). "Česko v hybridní válce: vláda vyzývá k činu, armáda žádá operátory o blokování proruských dezinformačních webů". Lupa.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  32. ^ "‚Hybridně působí ve prospěch Ruska.' Vojenští rozvědčíci zveřejnili dopis, proč žádali blokaci webů". iROZHLAS (in Czech). Retrieved 14 April 2022.

External linksEdit

  • cz.nic homepage, Czech Network Information Center (in Czech).
  • Lupa, server dedicated to Internet in the Czech Republic (in Czech).
  • NIX.CZ, Neutral Internet eXchange of the Czech Republic.