Comprehensive package of legislative measures to ensure accessibility of communications for population approved by Majilis

Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the second reading approved the draft law "On introducing amendments and addenda to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of communications, digitalisation, improving the investment climate and eliminating unnecessary legislative regulation.

Developed in pursuance of the order of the Head of State, the bill is aimed at the development of communications infrastructure, the formation of favourable legislative conditions for the attraction of promising telecommunications and digital technologies, as well as further improvement of the innovation ecosystem. The document is a comprehensive package of legislative measures to stimulate the development of networks and ensure accessibility of communication services for the population.

It provides for the provision by local executive bodies of sites for the construction of antenna-mast structures and (or) towers for cellular or satellite communications equipment. In order to cover the republican and main regional highways with quality communication, the possibility of construction of fibre-optic communication lines is enshrined in the planning of development, reconstruction and repair of highways.

In addition, opportunities are being expanded for the joint use of overhead power line towers owned by the state, including for the connection of communication lines, with the establishment of the obligation of telecom operators to maintain them in proper condition. In order to introduce digital technologies in agricultural and industrial facilities, the possibility of subsidising communication services has been introduced.

The law also provides for an authorisation procedure for virtual operators. A pilot project for up to two years on the use of communication networks using non-geostationary satellite systems (StarLink, OneWeb) is introduced. The legal and technical regimes of this project will be determined by the authorised body in the field of communications and the National Security Committee. Its implementation will make it possible to provide Internet access to social facilities in remote communities.

In addition, telecom operators will be obliged to ensure the functioning of broadcasting technology for prompt informing the population during emergencies. It also provides for the right of the authorised body in the field of communications to establish additional obligations of telecommunications operators to provide preferential tariffs for persons with disabilities.

The draft law expands the possibilities for the use of data from space sensing of the earth in carrying out remote control over the state of land, forest and water resources, as well as over compliance with the requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on subsoil and subsoil use. This will make it possible to strengthen the effectiveness of state control over the use of natural resources and reduce the administrative burden on bona fide users of natural resources.

It is also envisaged to launch a national innovation system to provide measures of state support for innovation on the principle of "one window". In addition, the document raises the status of sectoral centres of technological competence to participate in the innovative development of the country.

In general, the bill will contribute to the provision of quality and affordable communication services to citizens, growth of innovation activity and attraction of promising digital technologies to the country.

At the plenary session of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Minister of Health Akmaral Alnazarova presented two ratification bills. Among them is the Protocol on Amendment to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Under it, any member country of the World Trade Organisation can export products manufactured under compulsory licences. However, such production of medicines is for public health purposes, i.e. not for commercial purposes.

Another document presented is the Agreement on Cooperation of the CIS Member States on Prevention and Response to Public Health Emergencies of Sanitary-Epidemiological Nature. One of its important points is the promptness of actions of specialised anti-epidemic brigades, elimination of lengthy procedures when they need to cross state borders in case of emergencies of sanitary and epidemiological nature in the territories of the CIS countries.

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