Support The Moscow Times!

Communications Expenses Could Be Used to Measure Cost of Living

Medvedev thinks telecom costs should be part of the consumer basket. Igor Tabakov

The cost of mobile communications and Internet access may be added to the basket of consumer goods used as a benchmark for the cost of living, Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said Friday.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed Nikiforov's ministry to look into the matter after the idea of adding communications costs was proposed by Medvedev during a meeting with students of the Siberian Federal University in Krasnoyarsk on Wednesday, Vedomosti reported.

Nikiforov said the decision to tweak the makeup of the benchmark would be preceded by a study that he expects to reveal gaps in the quality and costs of service from city to city.

“Prices for Internet access are a limiting factor. It's not within the means of every citizen, every household, to get connected if they do not fit into a certain basic economic framework. This, in particular, will give us the possibility to conduct more detailed monitoring," the minister said.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.