Pervy Kanal

Communications in Russia

The telecommunications system in Russia have undergone significant changes since the 1980s, resulting in more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services today. The foundation for liberalization of broadcasting was laid by the decree signed by the President of the USSR in 1990. Communication is mainly regulated through the Federa Law "On Communications" and the Federal Law "On Mass Media"

Mass Media

The first Russian Federal Law "On Mass Media" was adopted on December 27, 1991 and went into force on February 8, 1992. The law reinforced inadmissibility of censorship (article 3) and guaranteed unlimited (except by existing legislation) freedom to seek, obtain, produce and disseminate information; to found media outlets, and to own, use and manage them; to prepare, acquire, and operate technical devices and equipment, raw goods and materials intended for the production and distribution of mass media products (article 1). The main thrusts of the law are also included in the Russian Constitution, adopted by national referendum on December 12, 1993. Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and free dissemination of thoughts and ideas, and the right to seek, receive and freely transmit, disseminate and produce information. Freedom of the press is guaranteed. Censorship is banned (article 29). These rights can be limited only by federal law and only “in the interests of protecting the Constitution, morality, health, rights and lawful interests of other people, or for the defense of the country and national security” (article 55).

On August 13th 2001 the Russian President signed presidential decree #1031, which founded Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), a federal state unitary enterprise. It emerged as a result of separation from VGTRK of all state and non-state program broadcasters, i.e. all regional TV and radio broadcasting centers.

In 2006, the Russian Ministry for Telecommunications and the Ministry for Culture and Mass Communication have prepared the text of the Federal programme for development of television and radio broadcasting in 2007–2015. The Document has estimated the total volume of investments in broadcasting needed for a digital switch-over at 1.950 million rubles and has identified major steps for the process such as the technical modernization of the state television and radio transmission networks, the construction of new terrestrial digital networks, and the training of specialists.

Telephone

Telephones - main lines in use: 25.019 million (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 161,000,000 (2007)

The telephone systems in the 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas. In the rural areas, the telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low density.

Cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk.

Russia is connected internationally by three undersea fiber-optic cables; digital switches in several cities provide more than 50,000 lines for international calls; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita.

Radio

Digital Audio Broadcasting is developing fast with the Voice of Russia announced On 1 July 2004, the successful implementation, and planned expansion, of its DRM broadcasts on short-wave and medium-wave.

Radios: 61.5 million (1998)

Radio broadcasting stations: AM 420, FM 447, shortwave 56 (1998).

Television

Privately owned stations are often owned by industrial groups either controlled by the State or with close connections to the government so that they can be called semi-state. Both state and private stations can have a national status (broadcasters that reach over 70% of the national territory), or a regional, district or local status. Local partners are often united in bigger networks.

In the 1970s and 1980s, television become the preeminent mass medium. In 1988 approximately 75 million households owned television sets, and an estimated 93 percent of the population watched television. Moscow, the base from which most of the television stations broadcast, transmitted some 90 percent of the country's programs, with the help of more than 350 stations and nearly 1,400 relay facilities.

There are about 15,000 TV transmitters. Development of domestic digital TV transmitters, led within "Multichannel" research program, had already been finished. New domestic digital transmitters have been developed and installed in Nizhniy Novgorod and Saint Petersburg in 2001-2002.

The state public television broadcaster is Pervy kanal (Channel One).

Internet

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 83 (in Russia and Kazakhstan combined (1999))

Country code top-level domain: RU (Also SU - left from Soviet Union)

See also

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