Belarus begins first hearing on amendments to telecoms law

On 27 June, Belarus' Minister of Telecommunications and Informatisation, Nikolai Pantelei, presented the draft law on amendments to the country's telecoms law to the National Assembly for its first hearing. Online news portal writes that the amendment law is designed in accordance with a Presidential decree of 26 December 2007, backed by the Council of Ministers enactment No. 267, of February 2008. The changes are intended to harmonise Belarusian legislation with the International Trade Organisation's agreements and European legislative norms. The draft law calls for a number of changes to the July 2005 'Law On Telecommunications' including amongst other things:

 Taking into account traits of mobile cell telecommunications - absence of communications between base stations and end users' devices

 Providing conditions for the development of all telecommunications services, including compensation of expenses linked to their rendering to telecommunications operators, including for the national operator, as per the remit of article 14 of the current law

 Creating a non-discriminating, fair and transparent telecoms environment for all operators when connecting telecommunications networks, and for their interaction in Belarus.

 Establish separate obligations for telecom operators which occupy a dominate position in the domestic telecom market, and

 To manage the partial privatisation of state-owned national fixed line operator Beltelecom.