Director of the Regulatory Agency for Communications (RAC) Predrag Kovac noted that this agency will impose more severe sanctions for hate speech in the media on the basis of a new document that was adopted by the Council of Ministers of BiH.
“From this year, sanctions will be much more severe than before, because the document “Review of penalties imposed by the RAC” came into force, and it was adopted by the Council of Ministers of BiH. For purposes of the illustration, the Agency will impose sanctions that will amount from 5000 BAM to 150000 BAM for hate speech, penalties for content that is violating mental, physical and moral development of minors will also be between 5000 BAM and 150,000 BAM, while the Agency will impose penalties from 2000 BAM to 100000 BAM for violating the Code of commercial communications. We will maximally devote ourselves to prevent the broadcasting of content that might endanger life and health, public safety, public morals or other social disorders,” stated Kovac.
The Ministry of Communications and Transport announced that the Phase II of procurement, installation, and commissioning of equipment for the digitization of the transmission and broadcasting network of the public service broadcasters who own Multiplex A could be finished by the end of 2017. In this way, about 80 % of the population will have the high-quality digital signal, said Kovac.
The beginning of this broadcast, noted Kovac, is marking the beginning of the disappearance of analog television on the territory of BiH, because, according to the analysis of the Agency, the population that is receiving the signal via terrestrial broadcasting (antenna) might have somewhere around 14 to 16 TV programs.
When it comes to prices of calls in BiH and roaming prices for calls abroad, Kovac noted that the Agency implemented a set of measures to reduce the price of mobile and fixed telephony in June 2016. The primary goals were the development of competition in the market and creation of benefits for their end users.
“I can safely confirm that we have succeeded. The prices of calls from the mobile network to other fixed networks that operators apply from the 1st of June 2016 are increased by 6-30 %, depending on the telecom operators and service packages that are offered. As for the roaming, its abolition in the countries of the EU will not have any significant consequences on our country due to the fact that BiH is not a member of the EU. However, it is positive that the citizens of BiH and neighboring countries can use certain benefits that are allowed by existing agreement on roaming prices.”
Considering the fact that majority of inappropriate content, including hate speech, appears in the online media and social networks, Kovac noted that the RAC is not competent for regulation of the content posted on the Internet, social networks, and the press.
“The Council for Press in BiH is competent for that issue. Editors and publishers of print and online media are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Code for press and online media in BiH. The Code was written in accordance with the existing European standards of journalistic practice and its aim is to lay the foundations of the system of self-regulation in both print and online media,” concluded Predrag Kovac.