22 Jan 2020 19:10

Operators to provide free Internet access to Russian public service site, govt websites from March 1 - Ministry of Communications

MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) - Access to the website for public services and the websites of all Russian federal and regional authorities will be free from March 1, the Ministry of Communications said.

For users with unlimited Internet, visits to these websites will not be taken into account in the total traffic volume. Additionally, these websites will be accessible even with a zero balance.

The relevant decision was made by the Ministry of Communications on Tuesday. The move aims to implement an "accessible Internet" project, the idea for which was proposed by President Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, the ministry's press service said.

On the same day, Rostelecom announced its support for the initiative. The network operator has since 2014 been working on its own project to eliminate digital inequality, which provides for free Wi-Fi access in small populated areas.

Megafon stated that technically the task was feasible and that it was ready to participate in working on this list. VimpelCom and MTS also spoke of their readiness to jointly devise criteria and mechanisms for providing free access to socially-significant online resources.