The services distributed by Russia’s first DTT multiplex are now available to 82.8% of the population, according to Alexei Volin, the deputy minister of communications and mass media minister.

Quoted by ComNews and AKTR, he added that audience growth this year amounted to 4.9%. He also said that 60% of the population could benefit from broadband services and receive HDTV.

These statistics come against the backdrop of last week’s approval of a bill on the distribution of channels in Russia. Drafted by the Ministry of Communications, it will now be considered at a meeting of the Cabinet.

The proposed bill introduces the concept of mandatory public TV channels and categorises them as All-Russian, essential digital services on multiplexes, regional and municipal. It also establishes particular regional and municipal mandatory public channels, with the list of these channels determined by the Russian government.
Meanwhile, the Russian president will determine the operators of DTT multiplexes.

Although the proposed bill has been welcomed by the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), it has come in for criticism from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAT).