Slovak public WiFi networks seen to be in danger

GOA, India, 05 May 2005

The Slovak Telecommunications Office has published a draft of its new general licence for operating radio devices´in the public 2.4 GHz frequency band. But if the wordings of this new policy remain unchanged, it could “effectivelly put ban on thousands of devices around the country”, warns the Bratislava-based CHANGENET.SK network.

This alert came in from Norbert Brazda .

Writing via the APCForum mailing list, Brazda says the Slovak Telecommunications Office has recently published a draft of its policy for new general licences needed to operate radio devices in the public 2.4 GHz frequency band.

“According to the draft of the new licence, devices must be used only with their internal antenna or with an external antenna that is explicitly and exactly specified by the manufacturer in the technical documentation of the device,” Brazda stated.

Campaigners like Brazda point out that If the wording of the licence remains unchanges, it would effectivelly put a ban on “thousands of devices around the country”. This could cause significant harm to public WiLL (wireless in local loop) networks and many smaller Internet providers, he says.

“The draft of the new general licence is now open for public comments. We believe this is just a misunderstanding and that the telecommunications office will take this provision off the licence.,” said APC’s partner from the land-locked republic of 5.4 million in Central Europe.

Slovakia is also called the Slovak Republic.

After the end of communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989 during the ‘Velvet Revolution’, the dissolution of that country led to the formation of two successor states, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Both went their separate ways after January 1, 1993. Slovakia became a member of the European Union in May 2004. It also joined NATO on March 29, 2004.

In some countries, the 2.4-GHz frequency band has been declared an unregulated frequency.

In recent years they have also been used for license-free error-tolerant communications applications such as wireless LANs and Bluetooth.

IEEE 802.11b/g wireless Ethernet also operates on the 2.4 GHz band, making this band all the more crucial.

ChangeNet says an initiative of NGOs and wifi providers/networks is being set up. ChangeNet’s contribution is an online campaign and petition tools for the initiative. This would allow concerned citizens to express their support to the initiative and submit their comments to the Telecommunications Office. can be contacted at Mlynske nivy 41, 821 09 Bratislava and via phone/fax +421-2-55560026, or +421-905-729359. It’s goal is to work on “connecting people who are changing the world”.

The APCForum mailing list is at

Author: —- (APCNews Editor)
Date: 05/05/2005
Location: GOA, India
Category: Internet Governance