Bill proposes adding mobile access in small towns to universal services

23 Jan 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has drafted a bill that, if adopted, will add the provision of mobile services in small settlements to the list of universal communications services, changing the focus of universal service access provision away from public internet access points and payphones. Currently, national fixed line giant Rostelecom is the sole universal service provider, but a report from ComNews mentions telecoms industry participants raising the possibility of mobile operators competing in a tender for the provision of universal services in small communities. Furthermore, the draft law proposes expanding the scope of universal service to all settlements with at least 100 inhabitants, up from the current threshold of 250 people. The bill awaits approval, a spokesperson for the Ministry told ComNews.