Czech Republic - Infrastructure, power, and communications

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The Czech Republic inherited an extensive network of public transportation, in the form of bus and train routes, from Czechoslovakia. Even some of the most remote locations may be reached by bus. One of the most significant changes of the post-communist era has been an increase in independent auto transportation among the population. There are 127,693 kilometers (73,348 miles) of highways, including 497 kilometers (309 miles) of expressway, all of

Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Czech Republic 254 803 447 77.1 94 10.4 97.3 85.58 700
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Germany 311 948 580 214.5 170 73.1 304.7 173.96 14,400
Slovakia 185 580 402 105.1 87 10.0 65.1 38.79 600
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

which are paved. The country now has 9,435 kilometers (5,363 miles) of railways. Continued improvements are planned for the railway and highway systems in order to bring them more in line with EU standards.

There are 10 public international airports and 114 total airfields, 71 of which have paved runways. The largest airport is Ruzyne, in Prague, which services approximately 95 percent of the total passenger traffic. There are 677 kilometers (421 miles) of waterways in the Czech Republic, the most important being the Vltava and Elbe rivers. Tourists tend to enter the Czech Republic via the airport in Prague or by train from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, or Slovakia.

Electricity production stands at 61.5 billion kilowatt hours, and the country uses a 220-volt power system. The majority of electricity is generated by fossil fuels (76 percent). While a portion of this production comes from coal, oil provides a sizable portion as well and is imported from Russia. Nuclear power contributes 20 percent of electricity production.

The Czech Republic has a rapidly-modernizing communications infrastructure . In the first few years after the transition from communism, the installation of telephone lines by the state company was still difficult. However, the increased entry of private telecommunication companies and the growing popularity of mobile telephones has provided a way to sidestep these difficulties, and increased competition has forced the Czech telecommunications company, STP Telecom, to improve its service. There are 94 mobile phones per 1,000 people in the Czech Republic, compared to 50 per 1,000 in neighboring Poland, and there is 1 digital cellular system and 2 global system for mobile communication (GSM) providers for cell phone service. A number of Internet service providers sprung up in the late 1990s, creating between 20 and 30 options for service. Internet cafes are readily available, and the Czech government has taken steps to promote increased public computer and Internet technologies.

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