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The Government of the Czech Republic has adopted an amendment to the Electronic Communications Act

On September 2, 2017, an amendment to the Electronic Communications Act (hereinafter – “the Amendment”) came into effect in the Czech Republic. The most significant changes relate to customer contracts regulated by Section 63 of the above-mentioned Act: now they are more preferable for customers and provide them with greater protection. Thus, a stipulated notice period, which remains a compulsory part of customer contract, must not exceed 30 days now. We remind that previously, operators were free to exercise their discretion to set the length of notice periods. In accordance with the innovations, customer contracts must specify the possibility and extent of potential unilateral changes and the manner in which they must be notified to the other party. Previously, this option was only available if the change was substantial and would necessarily deteriorate the customer’s position. Thus, customers must not only be acquainted with any one-sided amendments to their contract, but also have to be given the option to cancel the contract without having any penalty imposed upon them. This is in contrast to the previous requirements, that allowed operators to extend time-limited contracts automatically provided that they had informed the customer about the possible option and means of termination at least 1 month (and not earlier than 3 months) before the contract expired. In addition, operators must also inform customers of the forthcoming termination of the contract and the possibility of its extension. Customer contracts may be extended only for a limited term in cases where customers give their explicit consent with the time-limited prolongation; otherwise the original contract is considered extended for an indefinite time.