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04.12.2006

Internet Association calls for a veto on changes to the law on telecommunications

   

The Internet Association of Ukraine (IAU) has sent a letter to President Yushchenko asking him to veto the Law “On introducing amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On telecommunications” (on the list of generally available telecommunications services) which the Verkhovna Rada has passed. The head of the IAU Tatyana Popova believes that the law narrows the individual’s right to social protection.

The Law envisages a reduction in the list of generally available services, including fixed telephone inter-city and international connections, which are subject to state regulation. “State regulation of tariffs on generally available telecommunications services through establishing upper and fixed tariffs protects those on a low income or with special social needs from financial impediments to using generally available telecommunications services for their own needs, in particular, using fixed local, inter-city and international connections”, the letter states.

Tatyana Popova considers that the law as well as all else contravenes Article 22 of the Constitution of Ukraine which states that “The content and scope of existing rights and freedoms shall not be diminished in the adoption of new laws or in the amendment of laws that are in force”.

On 28 November the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law “On introducing amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On telecommunications” (on the list of generally available telecommunications services) which is aimed at bringing Ukrainian legislation on telecommunications into line with EU legislation.

According to the law the list of generally available services now excludes inter-city and international telephone communications, while adding the connection of necessary user equipment to telecommunications general use networks. It is also envisaged that telecommunications services can be provided with the use of wired or cordless access, while calls from networks of fixed telephone connections to mobile networks are not considered generally available telecommunications services.

This is not the first time that the Internet Association has protested over attempts to introduce amendments to the law on telecommunications which is the basic law as regards regulating telecommunications in Ukraine. The Association also came out recently with strong criticism over a draft law “On introducing amendments to several legislative acts of Ukraine (regarding improving legislation on communications”.

The Internet Association of Ukraine was created in November 2000 to consolidate efforts on developing the Internet in Ukraine.

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