Russian providers have figured out how to pass on to Google part of the cost of the “Spring package”

    Reuters has learned about the bill , which was prepared by Russian telecom operators on the eve of the purchase of infrastructure for the “Spring package”.

    From October 1, 2018, all Internet providers are obliged to keep all Internet traffic of users for a month. This is a fairly large amount of data, and certified equipment will be expensive. However, with the help of the bill, operators expect to shift some of the costs to Google, Facebook and other Western companies. If they refuse to pay, the operators have the right to reduce the speed of access to their sites.

    It can be assumed that first of all we are talking about reducing access to YouTube, because this service generates a significant share of Internet traffic that operators are obliged to store. Google services account for 35% of all traffic in runet.

    According to the text of the draft law, operators propose introducing into legislation the concept of “organizer of information dissemination on the Internet controlled by a foreign person”.

    Companies falling under this definition are obliged to conclude an agreement and pay compensation to operators “occupying a significant position in a public communication network” and operators “dominating a position in the market of mobile radiotelephone services” for storing their content within the framework of the “Spring Act”.

    According to experts, the “significant position” operators can be considered Rostelecom, Tattelecom, Krymtelecom, MTS, Megafon and Vimpelcom.

    Discussion of the new bill is conducted within the framework of the LTE Union, which includes all the largest mobile operators. If the operators take such a decision, then after agreement the document will be sent to the government. Entry into force is expected from January 1, 2019.

    Who should pay?

    According to the text, the compensation must be paid by “organizers of information dissemination on the Internet controlled by a foreign person”. The register of information dissemination organizers is kept by Roskomnadzor. At the moment, the registry contains 98 entries. Among them, the following companies may be included in the wording:

    • Telegram;
    • Vimeo;
    • Threema;
    • Depositfiles;
    • (AN Koryakin);
    • … other.

    "Habrahabr" is registered in the register on the Russian legal entities.

    Large companies like Google, Facebook and others are not yet registered in the registry.

    Against network neutrality

    The selective speed limit of some sites is incompatible with the principle of network neutrality, which suggested that the Council for the Development of the Digital Economy under the Council of the Federation be legislatively enshrined in Russia. Now, telecom operators oppose this initiative: “The trends of recent years show that the explosive growth in the volume of transmitted traffic, primarily generated by Internet resources, requires disproportionate additional investments from telecom operators to modernize and develop communications networks, including storage information for the execution of [the law of Spring], the letter saysoperators to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (Reuters has a copy). “Legislative consolidation of the principle of“ network neutrality ”in the interests of Internet resources contradicts the logic of the development of communication networks and new technologies.”

    The representative of the Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, Aliya Samigullina, confirmed to Vedomosti that the government office received a letter from the LTE Union, uniting the big four of Russian cellular operators, where operators are asking to abandon plans to legally establish the principle of network neutrality in Russia.

    Operators argue the rejection of network neutrality also plans for the introduction of fifth-generation cellular (5G). In the letter, they warn that the 5G network is based on managing Internet traffic parameters, including the prioritization of critical communications traffic (telemedicine, unmanned vehicles, etc.): “Abrupt and underdeveloped solutions can be fatal for the industry and, as a result, a brake on the successful development of the digital economy, ”say the Big Four operators.

    Representatives of VimpelCom and MTS confirmed in a commentary to Vedomosti that legislative consolidation of network neutrality “would put an end to the introduction of 5G in Russia”.

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