Internet providers are asking the Ministry of Communications to let them into their homes without a contract
Photo source: Yevgeny Astashenkov / Interpress / TASS
Several major Internet service providers of federal significance immediately approached the head of the Ministry of Communications Konstantin Noskov with a request to support the project on liberalizing access to apartment buildings, approving some amendments to the law “On Communications”.
Other applicants included MegaFon, MTS, VimpelCom, ER-Telecom Holding and the Rosteleset Association, as reported by Kommersant. The project itself to simplify access for operators to the common property of residential buildings was submitted to the State Duma in late December.
In particular, amendments were proposed to the Law “On Communications” and other acts implying access to apartment buildings for telecom operators free of charge and without a contract. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Construction proposed to oblige operators to conclude onerous contracts with the Criminal Code, and the Ministry of Communications “currently supports the contract system”, as stated in the letter of the operators. In this case, their payments amount to at least 10 billion rubles, or 300 per subscriber per year. And this "will adversely affect competition and, as a result, the quality and price of services."
At the moment, operators can enter free of charge in a large number of houses. But if the law requires to pay money, then the aggregate increase in tariffs will definitely happen, as the president of Rosteleseti Oleg Grishchenko warns.
He claims that the costs indicated in the letter are estimated only on the basis of the operators who signed the document. Market participants acknowledge that the relationship between the management company and providers is “opaque and in the gray zone”. For example, ER-Telecom must pay at least 1 billion rubles to various asset management companies for access to home infrastructure.
The protocol of the meeting of the expert council of the Federal Antimonopoly Service states that the current costs of access to homes by providers are at least 2.7 billion rubles per year. Moreover, in some cases, the placement of equipment is free of charge, and in others - under contracts with the Criminal Code. The cost of services of these organizations varies from 500 rubles. up to 80 thousand rubles
If operators are allowed to enter homes for free, this will help to comply with the interests of homeowners and providers. According to the curator of the “Communication and IT” working group of the Expert Council under the Government Irina Levova, the policy of the Ministry of Communications “often does not meet the interests of the development of the digital economy”, including on this bill.
In its turn, the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media speaks “unequivocally against the existing barriers”. “But, probably, it is better for residents if the management companies at least know which operators come to the house. So that we do not get a situation when the floors are broken in houses, roofs leak, and the sky is in the wires when there is no document defining the rights and obligations of operators and the Criminal Code. ” In his opinion, “it should not be a reimbursable agreement, but it could be a standard non-monetary agreement,” said Evgeny Novikov. The Ministry of Communications plans to again discuss this issue with operators at the beginning of the week.
The Ministry of Construction announced support for the bill if it is finalized. So, representatives of the department believe that the Criminal Code should still receive the authority to conclude agreements with operators without the need for approval at a general meeting of owners. But the free access of providers to the attics of houses in the Ministry of Construction is considered "unacceptable." One concern concerns the “counterterrorism security” of homes.
As Andrei Chibis, Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing and Utilities reported earlier this February, an official contract will oblige the management company to provide the provider access to the house and provide all the necessary technical conditions for installation.
Providers believe that risks can be offset by the development of rules for the interaction of telecom operators and management companies. For violation of the rules, you can introduce administrative liability. We are talking about fines and "until the revocation of licenses from the Criminal Code." Megafon believes that transparent rules for interacting with the management company should facilitate competition among operators and eliminate unreasonable expenses in providing services to residents. Rostelecom has not yet signed the letter, but fully supports the bill on non-discriminatory access. But it is possible only with free and the absence of contractual relations, as Vitaly Nedykhalov, the head of interaction with the authorities of VimpelCom, is confident.