Government to introduce low-cost basic internet

Retail

The Hungarian government could introduce a low-cost basic internet service, reduce the internet VAT rate to 18% and establish free wifi connections in all settlements, Fidesz-friendly daily Magyar Idők reported today, citing unnamed government sources.

A bill on “net neutrality” is being drafted by lawmakers, following an online national consultation on internet services that involved 32,000 respondents followed by talks with market players, professional interest groups and civil organizations, the daily reported.

Tamás Deutsch is the Fidesz Member of European Parliament in charge of the national consultation, entitled NetKon, which was launched after thousands of protesters took to the streets of Budapest to oppose the government’s planned introduction of a levy on internet usage.

According to the daily, the cabinet is also working on a comprehensive digital public education strategy. The government hopes to launch a program to develop wifi in educational institutions, as well as a scheme to keep children safe from digital threats, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. Tax allowances could also be offered to Hungarian startups, the daily said.

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