Audiotext services with barred access

/ Updated on 24.01.2003

With the entry into force of Law nr. 95/2001 of August 20, on August 25, 2001, the rule governing the provision of audiotext services is of barred access. The new regime obliges services providers - normally Fixed Telephone Service (FTS) providers - to establish barred access and only enable general or selective access to such services after a specific request of this nature, presented by the respective customers. The only exception to this general rule of barred access is for televote audiotext services (corresponding to the 607 code), whose access is automatically provided from the moment on which the contract is signed between the user and the respective service provider. At the same time, the absence of an oral message with information on the price and nature of the audiotext service in question now provides grounds for ICP to suspend use of the access indicative assigned to the respective provider or revoke the act of registration. Law -nr. 95/2001 introduces modifications in three legal diplomas in force: Decree-Law -nr. 177/99, of May 21, that regulates the access regime and exercise of the activity of audiotext services provider, Decree-Law -nr. 474/99, of November 8, that approves the Regulations of the Operation of the Fixed Telephone Service, and Decree-Law -nr. 175/99, of May 21, that regulates the advertising of audiotext services. The - fines applicable have now been increased to between PTE 500,000 and PTE 5 million and between PTE 3 million and PTE 10 million, in accordance with the respective countermanding acts and whether they have been practised by individual persons or corporate bodies, in the case of Decree-Law -nr. 177/99, of May 21. In the framework of Decree-Law nr. 175/99, of May 21, the fines that now apply vary, in accordance with the same criterion, between PTE 500,000 and PTE 2 million escudos and between PTE 1.5 million and PTE 10 million escudos. In relation to contracts established before the new legislation entered into force, the respective service providers must bar access to audiotext services, free-of-charge, within a 90-day deadline, excluding televote services, as stated above. The service providers must simultaneously submit the respective instruments to their customers whereby they may request general or selective access to audiotext services, if they so desire.