Losses of telecom operators due to the project to provide subscribers with free access

telecom operators

telecom operators

Losses of telecom operators due to the project to provide subscribers with free access to socially significant sites will grow to 200 billion rubles. This assessment was made by the head of the Accessible Internet working group at the Commission of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) for Communications and IT Irina Levova, although the commission had previously estimated the losses of operators from this project at 150 billion rubles.

Recall that in mid-January, President Vladimir Putin, speaking with a message to the Federal Assembly, announced the project “Accessible Internet”. Then Putin proposed to provide users with free access to socially significant domestic resources. At the end of January, it became known that, as part of the implementation of this project, from March 1, 2020, access to the public services portal and websites of federal and regional authorities in Russia will become free, however, the relevant government decree was not agreed on time, and the Ministry of Communications began to prepare amendments to the legislation which should come into force in December 2020.

Recently, the Ministry of Communications announced a list of 391 sites – as part of an experiment that will run until July 1, MTS, MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), Rostelecom, and Er-Telecom Holding (brand “Dom.ru”) will provide subscribers with free access to these resources. Providers must provide access to socially significant sites at a speed of at least 10 Mbps. If the subscriber’s tariff provides a higher speed, then the operators have the right to cut it to 10 Mbit / s.

According to Levova, the loss of operators from the implementation of the project can reach 200 billion rubles, if the Ministry of Communications does not reduce the list of socially significant resources, RBC writes .

“Most foreign projects of free access to Internet resources are limited to a list from state websites. Financing of such projects is carried out either through state funds, replenished from revenues from telecom operators for the use of the radio frequency spectrum, or from specific telecom operators in the framework of agreements with the government in image goals, “said Karen Ghazaryan, director general of the Internet Research Institute, noting that the Russian mechanism provides for what to finance free access to hundreds of sites with high traffic, not used anywhere in the world.

“The RSPP assessment suggests that if the Accessible Internet project is implemented in its current form, operators will lose almost a third of revenue. This can be considered the most pessimistic scenario, but it will be possible to judge its realism after the end of the testing period,” the CEO said TMT Consulting “Konstantin Ankilov.

According to Levova, the project in its current form threatens not only huge loss of income, but also problems with access to sites from the list of the Ministry of Communications. “Now the list contains only domain names of sites. Because of this, the provider cannot separate traffic from these sites separately from the general one and make it free. This will lead to incorrect operation of the site – the Internet resource will load slowly, images or video content may be lost “,” Levova explained, adding that the sites on the list themselves may not be able to withstand the increased load. She noted that for processing a large number of requests, resources should develop their own infrastructure – geographic content delivery systems (CDNs). In Russia, only Yandex has such infrastructure.

Director of External Relations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia RIPE Network Coordination Center (RIPE NCC) Alexei Semenyaka agrees that there is a potential problem with access to the list of sites in the experiment. “Each site has many elements, parts of which are located on different servers and not even in the same domain name. What about different analytics systems, external sources and advertising content? All this will not be able to be displayed on sites,” he said.

Semenyaka added that part of resources not indicated by the Ministry of Communications is crucial for the browser to be able to load a site from a list of socially significant ones, otherwise the pages will load for a very long time or will not work at all. You can solve this problem, but it will take time and money.

RBC interlocutors in telecom operators believe that it will not be possible to complete the experiment on organizing free access before the end of 2020 due to the difficulty of compiling the list of servers and hosting services necessary for sites to operate. The companies also pointed out the problem of disconnecting users for non-payment of services. “The Ministry of Communications cannot restrict the right of operators to suspend the provision of services in case of non-payment, for this it will be necessary to amend the Law” On Communications “, the rules for the provision of communication services. And even if these changes are made, the question remains, for how long and who will pay for the maintenance the operability of communication lines during this period and based on what? ” – said the source of the publication. sociastatus24