This week, Russia established the IT development foundation and set new rules for selective content blocking; Kyrgyzstan announced the date for switch to digital TV; Belarus shuts down dial-up; Kazakhstan is poised to block unregistered cell phones; Ukrainian internet providers go on strike.
1. Kyrgyzstan authorities announced the date of the complete transition to digital television, which cost the country over $4.3 million. The analogue TV broadcasting will be switched off on May 15, 2017, two years later than it was initially planned.
2. Belarus national operator Beltelecom will suspend the outdated dial-up technology starting from Feb. 1, 2017. Interestingly, up until Q3 2016 customers used dial-up for over 200 hours a day.
3. The government of Russia established the IT development foundation with the capital of 5 billion rubles (US$83.5 million). Its main goal is to test and promote Russian software both on domestic and foreign markets, and collaborate with potential buyers.
4. Kazakhstan will start blocking cell phones unregistered in IMEI database starting from July 1, 2017. This initiative was introduced as a preventive measure to combat extremism and terrorism, as well as a tool to reduce the number of thefts.
5. The U.S. sanctions on Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) could impact the import of electronics to Russia, the RBC newspaper has reported. Baker McKenzie management consultancy firm said that American companies may be required to get a permission from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control if they want to import any device with an encryption feature like mobile phones, tablets, or wireless mice. FSB was put on the list of sanctioned organizations in retaliation of Russia’s alleged hacking during the US presidential elections.
6. Several Ukrainian internet providers pledged to go on strike leaving some parts of the country without internet on Feb. 3, 11, 12, and 20. The protest is against the monopoly of energy companies that block the access to street lamp posts, which are the ideal structures for mounting of new 3G/4G equipment connecting internet to apartment buildings.
7. Ministry of communication of Russia developed rules for restricting access to unsolicited content that allow to block selective websites. New instruction will help to avoid situations when blocking one blacklisted website led to disruption of all websites on the same IP address.