Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
Belarusian government has approved revised draft law On Electronic Communications put forward by Ministry of Communications. The first draft of the law introducing frequency charges for all users and for governmental institutions as well was heavily criticized by Ministry of Defense and by Ministry of Internal Affairs officials, which stressed that in their case payments would come from the state budget.
Nevertheless according to the new draft law all frequency users will pay nonrecurrent or annual charges. Representatives of the Ministry of Communications explain that the new law will help to eliminate disproportions in frequencies distribution. At present Ministry of Defense controls 70 % of radio-frequency and 25-27% are handled by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, by KGB, by mobile operators and by radio broadcasters. Mr. Goncharenko, Minister of Communications of Belarus, emphasizes that Belarusian GSM operators (MTS and Velcom) suffer from the frequencies deficit. At the same time, reminds Mr. Goncharenko, Belarusian radio broadcasters at present pay for about $500 of indirect charges for frequencies using.
Belarusian communication companies support the new law - if the draft law is approved by the Parliament and by the President, Ministries will have to take off their frequency resources to commercial operators.
There is another clause in the draft which is criticized by state companies. According to it Universal Maintenance foundation is to be created by the Ministry of Communications. But Ministry has the Innovation Foundation supported by lower organizations which contribute 19,2% of their services cost value.
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