According to Vedomosti, providers registered as consumer cooperatives operate in several Russian regions. They found a loophole in the laws that allows them to carry out activities to provide Internet access without licenses and without complying with the requirements for telecom operators.
In 2020 and 2021, at least five such cooperatives were registered: Mercury in Anapa, Expertcom in Belgorod, Internet Buyer in Moscow, Kootv in St. Petersburg and Elit-TV in Rostov- on the Don.
Formally, these cooperatives are engaged in non-commercial activities, but in fact they resell traffic purchased from larger providers. Regulatory authorities do not have the right to inspect their Internet access activities, which allows these providers to operate without communication licenses and not install equipment for storing user traffic, equipment for blocking Internet resources and systems of operational-search measures (SORM). What measures will be taken to such cooperatives and whether they will be, is still unknown.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Digital Development published three changes to communications legislation. The agency increased the cost of obtaining a license from 7.5 thousand rubles to 1 million rubles (8 such licenses are required for a provider), and also introduced a turnover penalty for refusing to install SORM (this costs the operator 20 million rubles).