Hungary’s largest internet service provider (ISP) by subscriber base, Magyar Telekom, has expressed concerns for the planned internet tax implementation which has caused both operator and consumer protests. Following reports last week on the submission of a draft bill to impose HUF150 (USD0.62) tax on ISPs for every gigabyte (GB) of internet traffic, Magyar’s CEO Chris Mattheisen has spoken out, saying: ‘Any new tax burden will affect our investments, our regular investments as well as the ones included in our special partnership agreement with the government.’ Recently the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary signed a fast-track network expansion agreement with the Hungarian government as well as spending HUF58.65 billion on new mobile broadband frequencies. Mattheisen said he is ‘shocked’ at the government’s decision and doesn’t agree with its reasoning that voice traffic is moving towards data services, claiming that the telco’s numbers ‘show different’ and since the introduction of the telecom surtax in 2011, Magyar’s ‘voice and text traffic has not decreased, neither has the tax base’. The CEO added: ‘we will not consider [the tax law] final until it has passed’.
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