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.
- Internet users: 7.6 million, 45th in the world; 75.0% of the population, 37th in the world (2012).
- Fixed broadband: 1.7 million subscriptions, 46th in the world; 16.6% of the population, 56th in the world (2012).
- Mobile broadband: 4.5 million subscriptions, 41st in the world; 44.0% of the population, 36th in the world (2012).
- Hosts: 4.1 million, 27th in the world (2012).
- IPv4: 8.0 million addresses allocated, 0.2% of world total, 790 per 1000 persons (2012).
- Top level domain: .cz
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 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. There are both commercial and community wireless networks.
Mobile internet is quite popular. Plans based on either GPRS, EDGE, UMTS or CDMA2000 are being offered by all four mobile phone operators (T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefonica O2 and U:fon). The average cost for 1.5 GB of mobile internet plan ranges around 25 Euro/month. Various traffic shaping (monthly data limits after which the speed dramatically decreases) are used under common name "Fair Use Policy".
- Comparison of mobile data plans
|Company||Plan name||Technology||Maximum download speed/(kbit/s)||Maximum upload speed/(kbit/s)||Data limit/GB||Monthly price incl. VAT/CZK||Source|
|Telefónica O2||Mobilní internet||4G LTE||?||?||1.5/month||199|
|Telefónica O2||Mobilní internet||4G LTE||?||?||5/month||449|
|Telefónica O2||Mobilní internet||4G LTE||?||?||10/month||649|
|Vodafone||Red LTE||4G LTE||?||?||1.5/month||749|
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 Cesky Telecom, helped to drive down prices. On July 1, 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.
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. Speeds and overbooking vary per each ISP.
Cable internet is gaining popularity with its higher download speeds up to 300 Mbit/s. The biggest ISP, UPC (which has bought another CATV internet provider Karneval in 2007) is providing its service in big cities and attractive locations (Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Liberec, Usti nad Labem, Olomouc, Šumperk, Uničov, Jeseník).
- UPC Prices (2017)
|Maximum download/upload speed (Mbps)||Data limit (GB)||Monthly price incl. VAT (CZK)||Monthly price incl. VAT (EUR)|
|30 / 3||none||599||23|
|100 / 10||none||699||27|
|200 / 20||none||799||31|
|300 / 30||none||999||39|
|500 / 30||none||1099||41|
Internet censorship and surveillance
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.
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.
Since 1st 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. The motivation is to make obstacle in reaching unregulated and untaxed foreign lotteries by Czech citizens and to protect lottery companies that obeyed the Czech regulations.
In October 2011, the Czech Pirate Party submitted a petition signed by 11,000 people protesting the effort to censor internet and demanding a law guaranteeing censorship free access to the Internet and browsing.
On 6 May 2010, T-Mobile Czech Republic officially announced 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.
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. 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.
Since 2008, mobile operators T-Mobile and Vodafone 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.
- "ČSÚ: Necelá třetina českých domácností ještě nemá PC a připojení k internetu". International Data Group. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
- "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Internet hosts", CIA World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012, accessed 17 June 2013
- Select Formats Archived May 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
- "Wi-Fi: Poskytovatelé bezdrátového připojení". internetprovsechny.cz. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- "Bezdrátové připojení k internetu". bezdratovepripojeni.cz. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- 2007 WiFi survey EN Archived 2007-12-20 at Archive.is
- openspectrum.info - Czech Republic Archived November 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- http://www.o2.cz/osobni/internet-na-cesty/ (in Czech)
- http://www.vodafone.cz/tarify/red-lte/ (in Czech)
- https://www.ufon.cz/cs/osobni/volani/volani-a-internet-v-mobilu#air-unlimited (in Czech)
- "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.
- "Parliament press #578, Government amendment of the Act on Hazardous Games", Lower chamber of the Czech Parliament, 1 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "Pirate Party succeeds with petition against Internet censorship" Archived 2012-01-06 at the Wayback Machine., Prague Daily Monitor (Czech News Agency), 26 October 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "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 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine., press release, T-Mobile.cz, 6 May 2010
- "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
- "Stalo se: Už i Telefónica přistoupila k blokování", Jiří Peterka, Lupa.cz, 17 August 2009
- "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
- "Vodafone chrání nezletilé před nevhodným obsahem na webu" (Vodafone protects minors from inappropriate web content), press release, vodafone.cz, 26 June 2008
- "Stalo se: je cenzura Internetu už i v ČR?", Jiří Peterka, Lupa.cz, 30 June 2008