In Russia before the end of the year extended the experiment to provide free access to socially significant sites. He plans to test the state, what resources are going to make it free, who and why is against this initiative and how it will affect the economy of the country — “” found among representatives of the industry.

a free of charge — that is a gift

Since April of socially significant information resources recognized as 391 website. This means that Russians do not pay for access to these services, it provides Internet service providers. The free list included the websites of government agencies and banks, social networks, search and help systems, email and instant messengers, services, weather and maps, media, educational and cultural platforms, services and the marketplace.

To get into the list of socially significant, the resource must be in the domain zones .ru, .of the Russian Federation or .su. At least 50 percent of the audience of such resources must be accessible from the territory of Russia. Placement of hardware and software must be provided to the domestic legal entity, and the funds to support their work must be in Russia.

Furthermore, free sites are not required to have video and audio content. To work around this limitation, the owners of the resource can create a lightweight version of the website where will be published exclusively text content (mostly Russian). However, on the websites of Federal Executive bodies, the media and state TV channels do not extend. But the ads (except social) and paid content can not publish anywhere else.

Socially significant resources currently recognized by the social network “Vkontakte”, “Odnoklassniki”, “My мир” search services “Yandex”, and “Rambler” news aggregator “Yandex.News”, “news” “the Rambler/news”, SMI2, MediaMetrics. From messengers free ICQ steel and “tamtam”, from e-mail — “Yandex.E-mail and Rambler/mail”. From the media to the registry were “RIA Novosti news Agency” TASS, “Kommersant”,, RBC, “the Newspaper”, “Moscow Komsomolets”, “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, “Izvestia”, the channel “Russia 24”, First channel, and RT, and others. The list also includes websites of Sberbank, Gazprombank, Alfa Bank, credit Bank of Moscow, VTB, “Open”, Promsvyazbank and Raiffeisenbank. The status of socially significant also from the weather service and Gismeteo “Yandex.Weather”, resources for job search HeadHunter “Job.”ru, SuperJob, “Yandex.Work” and delivery service, Delivery Club, “Carmarket”, “Yandex.Food”, “Platypus” and “Mail of Russia”. There came the aggregators and the marketplace “Yandex.Market”, CYANOGEN, AliExpress, Wildberries, Ozon, “Take”

The current list of free sites are not final. During testing, becomes clear and is supported by�� the social importance of attendance. Depending on the results, some resources may leave the registry, while others will replace them in this list. “We need to analyze, you need to watch the traffic, you need to look at the structure of users who visited these sites to draw conclusions and some resources you can add and some exclude,” explains the head of the coordination center of national domain of network the Internet Andrey Vorobyov. In conversation with “” it is suggested that analysis of available project resources and became one of the main reasons why the Ministry of communications has decided to extend the project for another few months.

The Russian Association for electronic communications (RAEC) this step is called logical and correct. Director RAEC Sergei plugotarenko believes that final approval of the list of free sites need to collect as much data as possible and from operators and users of the network.

“it is Necessary to collect examination opinions of all stakeholders (users, operators, content providers and ORI social services-government and commercial). And implement a "readjustment" of the system at the end of this experiment,” explains the head of the Association.

with No gap

It is planned that in the future the project “Affordable Internet” will improve the quality of life of Russians. But how?

“We’ve never seen practice, when the state guarantees users access to the most important (from the point of view of providing public services, educational and cultural services) on a free basis to users of the national segment of the Internet. So, of course, this can be a very good impetus to the development of Runet audience in General,” — said Vorobyov.

The head of the coordinating center confirms my point of view the fact that in Russia, just as there is a slowdown in the growth of users. Without access to the network there, mostly residents of remote regions, are experiencing financial issues — financial situation does not allow them to access the services of local mobile operators. A similar thing happens with many retirees, the budget of which does not involve a monthly payment for Internet access.

Sergei plugotarenko predicts the reduction of the “digital divide” between residents of different regions and various age groups, if the program will be implemented. Now in the regions and large cities, the level of digital literacy is markedly different. The same can be said about young and older users of the network, as well as representatives of different social groups.

“There is a forecast that the "Internet" when should you configure and program implementation can reduce this (and��formational) "digital divide",” says Plugotarenko.

RIA Novosti

In the list of socially important already there and a large number of educational, medical and cultural services. According to the Director of RAEC, a new experiment could have a positive impact on their development, and this will naturally impact on the lives of Russians who will be able to get information and services free of charge. Plugotarenko believes that to develop without state support socially-oriented services cannot.

Do grant access to resources will significantly increase the number of users of the Runet? According to RAEC, in 2019, the audience of the Runet is 96.7 million users is 4.2 percent higher than a year earlier. And although the rate is gradually increased, the pace of growth was much lower than several years ago. The head of the Association believes that competent support of the project will increase the database of subscribers. In addition, the industry will have an incentive to develop for the wide audience.

Andrei Vorobyov from the focal point thinks that the price of socially important resources will contribute to the fact that older people “will delay” on the Internet.

“For retirees is as a kind of trial the possibility of surfing the network that could even influence that at first they will use those services that are provided for free, and then maybe it will delay, they will have commercial relationships with providers and become their regular customers,” suggests a scenario of sparrows.

In the future, providers can even offer the category of socially vulnerable users some special conditions, the expert believes.

the Project term

Industry representatives predict that high Internet accessibility will give a multiplier effect to the economy. In RAEC cite the example of the quarantine period, when it recorded a sharp increase in the consumption of different services online. Only the sale of subscriptions in the online cinemas in the first quarter of 2020 jumped 211 percent. And representatives of the bookstore online services and domestic services cloud gaming announced-fold increase in new subscribers after the announcement of the regime of self-isolation.

Plugotarenko connects growth of indicators of classroom availability of services: after the introduction of quarantine measures, many resources have reduced prices for services. As a result, the rate of consumption has increased markedly.

“Increased availability leads to increased consumption, depth of use, number of hours (which the user spends in the online services or content consumption) and so on,” — said Plugotarenko.

However, it is not ri��Knol to demonstrate that this rule is in the case of the program “Affordable Internet”. The expert suggests to wait for the end of the pilot and look at the results.


According to the Director of KC Andrei Vorobyov, the main advantages of the program for users and the economy will come later, when the project will be held in the test mode.

“We are from the position of the focal points of the company responsible for the infrastructure of the Russian Internet, — look at any such projects from the upper level and understand that they are for the future. Yes, today they decide important social issues, but beyond that they really give an impetus to the development of Runet tomorrow,” he concluded.

of What fear operators

“Affected party” in this story are providers that provide free access to socially significant sites. The Russian Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs estimate that within three months of the experiment, they received less 190-220 million rubles of revenue. When extending the experiment for the mobile operators providers can miss from 110 to 160 billion rubles a year.

Concerns of operators is partially not confirmed. They were convinced that a huge number of users will refuse subscription fees and fully switch to free tariffs. However, this did not happen: according to the Ministry of communications, during a test period of 33 million subscribers free home Internet access was used by about 500 thousand people.

“the Fears of operators that subscribers will massively choose social access, did not materialize,” — said the Minister of communications Maksut Shadaev.

Andrey Vorobyev is confident that the growth of new users may further reduce the shortfall in income, if operators find the right approach to the arriving audience. For example, providers can do sviatkivska users special offers adjusted to their well-being.

“of Course, it will affect the resources themselves, which will also get more audience and will also be able to negotiate with providers about some kind of commercialization with the aim of compensation of lost income,” — said the head of the coordination centre.

Director of RAEC says that the government has decided to continue the experiment, because he developed measures for compensation of expenses of the operators.

“now experts say that the operators will potentially be able to recoup the lost income from the traffic due to additional services when users, having mastered the basic services will be able to learn new information services fee charging”, — shares his thoughts Plugotarenko.

Both experts agree that the concerns of providers about the size of a drop down DOX��Dov in vain, and eventually the operators will be able to find a way to compensate for the losses.