The number of ADSL-based broadband connections passed the 275,000 mark at the start of 2006, a rise of 175% year-on-year. The rapid rate of growth has been attributed to the rollout of new services, lower prices, expanded coverage and the ongoing development of new technologies to support customer demand. Commenting on the growth rate, Martin Žabka, a spokesman for national PTO Cesky Telecom, said ‘Broadband internet has become a regular fixture in Czech households. In this respect, we are swiftly closing the gap between ourselves and the older countries of the European Union, where this type of connection is very widespread.’
Cesky Telecom worked hard to improve its broadband networks in 2005, expanding service coverage to all customers within 8.2km of an ADSL-enabled local exchange, up from 3.8km previously. In addition, the incumbent has rolled out broadband access in 453 new localities, up nearly 55%, on the figure reported at the end of 2004, meaning the company’s ‘Internet Expres’ product is now available in 1,287 localities and covers 90% of all Cesky customers.