On 28 September 2022, the National Assembly adopted the Electronic Communications Act (ZEKom-2), which entered into force on 10 November 2022 (the “Act“). The new Act incorporates into the Slovenian legal order the Directive (EU) 2018/1982 on the European Electronic Communications Code, which sets out a series of updated rules on the regulation of telecommunications networks and services.
The Electronic Communications Act is the basis for future projects in the field of promoting the digitisation process and introduces a number of novelties, among other:
- Withdrawal from the subscription contract without additional costs
The Act allows subscribers to withdraw from the subscription contract without additional costs (e.g. termination costs or other administrative costs, contractual penalties, amounts of benefits received or other agreed compensation). This means that the subscriber will not be charged direct costs for the telephone number portability from one operator to another.
- Special price options or packages for consumers with low incomes or special needs
In accordance with the Act the Agency for Communications Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter: the “Agency“) will be able to issue on the basis of collected data on retail prices a decision requiring service providers to offer low-income consumers or consumers with special needs price options or packages which differ in price from those otherwise provided under normal commercial conditions, in order for disadvantaged groups of people to also be able to access and use appropriate telecommunication services and broadband internet access.
The Agency will require the latter where, on the basis of the data collected, it finds that retail prices are too high in relation to the average monthly wage in the Republic of Slovenia, as published by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, and where they are rising more than five percentage points faster than the cost-of-living index for the previous year.
- Setting up a public information system
Within one year at the latest a public notification and alert system for end-users will also be set up via the public mobile network, enabling people located in affected area to be informed and alerted quickly in the event of natural and other disasters.
- Providing public funding for the construction of high-capacity networks in areas where operators have no commercial interest
The Act encourages further expansion and increased deployment of high-capacity networks throughout the country. This will be facilitated through the provisions on the collection of data on operators’ market interest in building networks providing speeds of at least 100 Mb/s and the provisions on the foreseen continued use of public funds for the construction of high-capacity networks in areas where operators do not have a market interest.
- Granting radio frequencies for the provision of wireless broadband electronic communications services for a period of 20 years
In order to encourage investment in the fifth generation 5G mobile networks, the Act will provide operators with regulatory predictability and certainty for their investments, as radio frequencies for wireless broadband electronic communications services will be granted for a period of 20 years instead of the current 15 years.