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First hearings on amendments to Belarusian telecommunications law

Author: Mikhail Doroshevich


Draft law on amendments to Belarusian Law on telecommunications law presented by Nikolai Pantelei, Minister of telecommunications and informatisation , for the first hearings at the National Assembly of the House of Representatives on June, 27.

The Law on amendments had been developed in accordance with Presidential decree of December, 26 2007, with the Council of Ministers enactment N267, of February 25, 2008 and in order to harmonize Belarusian legislation with International Trade Organization's agreements and European legislative norms. The new draft is guided by the principles enabling cooperation for all networks between each other andother countries' networks.

The following changes are supposed to be made to Belarus's law of July 19, 2005 "On telecommunications":

* Taking into account traits of mobile cell telecommunications - absence of communications between base stations and end users' devices - in article 1 specify a definition of "end users device (terminal) - a user's technical device intended for establishing connection to telecommunications lines for providing access to telecommunications services";

* for providing conditions for developement of all telecommunications services, compensation of expenses linked to their rendering to telecommunications operators, including national operator, make changes in article 14: "regulating tariffs on general telecom services and other services included in the list of general telecommunications services for general use, tariffs on which are liable to regulation, must provide conditions for compensating telecommunications operators economically proven expenses, linked to their rendering";

* for creating indiscriminating conditions for all telecommunications operators when connecting telecommunications networks and for their interaction on republic's territory, establishing separate obligations for telecom operators who occupy a dominating place on Belarus' telecom market, reservation of the exclusive right of international traffic admittance and joining to foreign networks to the national telecom operator, article 38 is to be stated in new redaction, and second part of article 44 is to be excluded;

* taking into account practice of applying republic's telecom law in the field of providing general services article 45 is to be stated in new redaction: "right for providing general telecom services is given to telecom operators excluding national operator in the form of competition that is based on necessity of providing general telecom services to all potential users of services mentioned in procedure that is defined by Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

Telecom operator who provides general telecom services is a general services operator". Admission of given law will not call for additional budget funds.

In case the amendments accepted at first hearings are adopted, Beltelecom monopoly will be partly liquidated.

Useful links:

The Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus
The House of Representatives
On Electric Communication Law [August, 2005]

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