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Ministry Wants Guaranteed Internet Connection Speeds

The Communications and Press Ministry is looking to have Internet providers guarantee a minimum connection speed to clients, Communications and Press Minister Igor Shchyogolev said.

Currently the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service oversees the quality of services offered by Internet providers but only records the maximum rate that providers claim to offer customers.

"These are just the first steps," Shchyogolev said last week, following a ministry meeting.

"Providers indicate speeds of 'up to' [a number of megabytes per second], that is, the upper benchmark. It is quite difficult to make claims if the speed is slower. It would be much easier to control the quality of the services if the speeds were guaranteed from a minimum level. All of this requires some work, but we are thinking about it."

Shchyogolev promised to solve the problem by the end of this year.

Vitaly Vitman, a Svyaz-Expocomm participant who heads the Murmansk branch of state-run telecoms giant Rostelecom, noted that this was among the more unique suggestions at the exhibit this year.

"It would be interesting to see who will be regulating this issue and how," he said.

The minister did not have a clear answer to this question, but he noted that Russia has entities responsible for metrics control, like the Federal Service for Technical Regulations and Measures, which could be involved.

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