State grouping cable operators, Belgrade Professor warns

State grouping cable operators, Belgrade Professor warns

State grouping cable operators, Belgrade Professor warns Izvor: N1

Belgrade University Professor Snjezana Milivojevic warned on Friday that the state is bringing cable operators under one fold which, she said, could create huge problems in the future.

“Telecommunications operators are being consolidated within one big state entity, even though they are supposed to be three different operators. There isn’t even a duopoly in sight, only a large formation on the market which could create even bigger problems than the problem of just one cable TV in the long term,” she said speaking on the N1 morning show.  

She said that under international standards, all cable operators have to be granted equal access to networks. “The discriminatory position here is based on the public perception of your critical role towards the current authorities and their awareness of that. The other thing is that the elections are drawing closer, heightening political sensitivity and leaving a part of the public to decide based on various views. I assume that this let’s us know clearly that the process of preparing better election conditions will come to nothing,” she said, adding that the commercial aspect is also important.  

Belgrade university Professor Nikola Samardzic said that a public debate has to launched to determine responsibility in the privatization of Telekom Serbia. “The Telekom has to open a public debate on political responsibility for all players who obstructed the privatization of the Telekom which is just one of the elements of political and information terror,” he said.

Speaking in the same segment of the morning show, Djordje Vukadinovic MP (independent) said that N1 could get a wider reach after the elections. “I think that once the elections pass you will be able to get wider coverage. That would be a positive miracle now and that probably won’t happen without great pressure from outside,” he said.  

“I won’t get into the ownership and economic aspects of the story, but it’s completely clear that the interest of the ordinary citizens of this country is to watch and be offered things to watch,” Vukadinovic said, adding that the authorities are constantly bragging about election results, ratings without wanting to create even a semblance of equal opportunity to see a different opinion. Allow people to get information, there can be no minimum equal media conditions without that, he said. “You are running a race with your hands and feet tied,” he said.  

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