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Russian state duma introduced draft law on free satellite broadcasting

The draft law introduces amendments to Russian law on communication. The amendments aim to oblige satellite broadcasters to broadcast free of charge to households in places where the digital terrestrial broadcasting in not available. Under the Russian law each household has the right to receive certain pack of channels free of charge. As long as the analogue broadcasting is getting to be a history and not all households can receive digital signal the law aims to fix this problem.

According to explanation note only satellite providers have technical opportunity to cover all households with their signal, but they are oblige to provide guaranteed pack of channels for free only to their subscribers if the law paid at least the minimum subscription fee for the communication service. The legislators believe if the satellite providers don’t have to invest additional money in order to provide households with signal (according to legislator’s logic such providers already have everything what is necessary), the proposed obligation to provide signal for free would not be burdensome for such providers.

So, what the draft law states? If the household locates in the place where the digital terrestrial television or radio translation is not available and such household require the satellite broadcaster to conclude agreement to receive the access to the network of such broadcaster in order to watch and/or listen publicly available Russian television or radio channels free of charge the broadcaster does not have the right to refuse from such agreement, in other words such broadcaster must provide households with access to television or radio channels for free at the requires of household.