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Russian minister expects no rise in telecom prices due to new anti-terror law

July 07, 15:28 UTC+3
The minister did not comment on a possible growth rates in 2017 and in 2018, promised they remain the same in 2016
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Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov

Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. The package of anti-terror laws signed by President Vladimir Putin on Thursday won’t lead to a raise in prices of telecom services in 2016, Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said Thursday.

"I am certain that in 2016 no raise in prices of telecommunications services is expected as a result of the adoption of anti-terrorism package of laws," he said.

However, the minister did not comment on a possible growth rates in 2017 and in 2018, when the legal requirements for telecom operators are to take effect.

Earlier, he said that the operators won’t be able to raise prices for their services on purpose due to high competition in the industry.

He admitted that during the adoption of the package of laws the State Duma, lower house of parliament, did not have enough time to consider and to take into account the position of his ministry and the telecommunication industry.

"There are still questions to a number of provisions of the law with regard to their enforcement. Nevertheless, we are pleased that they heard the Ministry's position, and simultaneously with the signing of the law the president also signed a list of specific instructions to the Government," Nikiforov said.

He added that orders provide further consideration and settlement of disputed issues and preparation of detailed amendments, if necessary.

"We know that there were emotional discussions of the amendments that received a significant response in the media," Nikiforov said.

"The amendments may be considered by the Government and submitted to the State Duma for approval during the autumn session," the Minister said.

He added that it is necessary to reconsider the technical issue of data storage with the State Duma during the autumn after it is agreed with the telecommunication industry.

State Duma deputy Irina Yarovaya and Senator Viktor Ozerov are the authors of the anti-terrorism package.

In addition to telecommunication operators the law also obliges Internet companies to store certain data. In particular, they will be required to store information about data transmission facts and data about users for one year. In addition, when using additional coding of e-messages Internet companies will be obliged to provide keys to decode these messages to the Federal Security Service. In case they refuse to disclose such information they will face a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($15,586).

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