Russia: Government to address limited internet access in remote places

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Representatives of the LDPR (Liberal Democratic) party proposed a way to increase the digitalization of small settlements, expanding the possibilities of installing means of collective internet access for settlements of at least 250 people.

The corresponding changes to Article 57 of the Federal Law “On Communications” were sent to the State Duma for consideration by a group of deputies from the LDPR, headed by the deputy speaker of the Chamber, Igor Lebedev. In the explanatory note to the bill No. 475951-7 “On Amending Article 57 of the Federal Law On Communications”, it is stated that under existing legislation at least one internet access point is guaranteed to settlements where at least 500 people live. As for telephone services, according to current legislation at least one access point must be provided for settlements with a population of 250 to 500 people.

To overcome the digital inequality, the MPs propose “to amend Article 57 of the Federal Law, to reduce the required number of people residing in settlements for provision of internet access from 500 to 250 people, and the required number for provision of access to telephone services from 250 to 100 people.”

In early March this year, in his message to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised that within six years Russia will be provided with fast internet access. By this time, according to Putin, the construction of fiber-optic lines in settlements with more than 250 people will be completed. Also, inhabitants of small settlements in the North, Siberia, and the Far East will receive satellite access. The message of Putin is invoked in particular by representatives of the LDPR party, who suggest that the State Duma adopt the aforementioned bill.

Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39305/