Your right to basic communications services

All consumers and businesses have the right to access basic communications services, or universal services, at a reasonable quality and an affordable price at their home or place of business. Traficom safeguards your rights in areas with insufficient commercial supply by designating an operator to provide such universal services.

Basic communications services, or universal services, include:

  • fixed or wireless telephone connection
  • 2 Mbps broadband access
  • text message service for persons with a hearing or speech impairment
  • internet service for persons with a hearing or speech impairment
  • extensive directory inquiry service (for example, a telephone or text message service or online service).

If in some areas, there is not enough supply for these services, Traficom designates an operator to act as a universal service provider for the area. The operator designated as the universal service provider must provide a telephone connection and 2 Mbps broadband access to all permanent places of residence and places of business in the area, if necessary. The universal service obligation does not apply to holiday homes.

Traficom uses both ex ante regulation and ex post control to supervise the above-mentioned universal services.

Use our search tool   (External link)to find out whether there is a designated universal service provider in your area.

Universal service via fixed or wireless network

Please note that the operator can choose the technological solution for implementing the telephone or internet connection within the universal service obligation. This means that even though you have the right to universal services, you cannot demand, for example, a mobile phone subscription instead of a fixed one or a fixed broadband access instead of a mobile one.

Telephone connection of sufficient quality

The universal service obligation requires that a telephone connection must function in one spot at the user's home or place of business. If your mobile phone coverage is poor indoors, you may have to purchase a GSM desktop phone and an extra antenna installed on the roof to improve the coverage.

Having problems with your telephone connection? Find out how to solve problems with telephone connections .

2 Mbps basic broadband connection

The broadband connection provided under the universal service obligation is different to other commercial connections because of its speed. The download speed of the connection must be at least 2 Mbps. Some variation is allowed but the average minimum speed must be

  • 1.5 Mbps over a measurement period of 24 hours; and
  • 1 Mbps over any measurement period of 4 hours.

Operators do not have to provide any faster connections under the universal service obligation and they are provided on a commercial basis only. Traficom cannot oblige operators to provide a faster connection.

The user must be able to access internet at least in one spot at home or place of business. To achieve this, you may have to improve your mobile broadband reception by connecting an extra antenna installed on the roof to the mobile router or USB modem. 

Having problems with your broadband connection? Find out how to solve problems with broadband connections .

SPECIAL SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH A HEARING OR SPEECH IMPAIRMENT

Hearing or speech impaired persons have the right to access services corresponding to a telephone connection at their permanent place of residence: broadband connection enabling a video connection and text messages.

  • Both the terminating and originating speed of an internet connection enabling video conference services must be at least 512 kilobits per second (so-called symmetrical internet connection).
  • The possibility to use text message services is important in order for the hearing and speech impaired to contact the emergency response centre in emergency situations.