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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Phone Bills Jump 14%

Moscow residents will pay an additional 10 rubles a month for telephone services after the Moscow City Telephone Network, or MGTS, raised rates 14 percent to 80 rubles starting Jan. 1.

This is MGTS's second rate boost since November, when the local fixed-line operator increased monthly fees from 60 rubles to 70 rubles. The Anti-Monopoly Ministry gave permission for both rate increases in early October.

Furthermore, a 5 percent sales tax will be added to monthly fees.

The new rates nearly cover the costs of providing services -- which the company estimates at 87 rubles a month per subscriber, said MGTS spokeswoman Anna Boiko. "They [new rates] allow us to make the ends meet," she said.

Boiko said private businesses -- which pay 165 rubles a month -- are the biggest share of MGTS's revenues.

Meanwhile, the New Year brought a 15 ruble increase in monthly fees for state-funded organizations, with rates up from 85 rubles to 100 rubles.

The tariffs are to remain the same until the second half of the year, when MGTS plans to either revise monthly fees or introduce a new system of per-minute rates.

Many local telephone operators across Russia already have increased monthly service charges, which are in most regions between 70 rubles and 90 rubles, according to the Renaissance Capital brokerage.

St. Petersburg residents are also now paying 90 rubles a month, compared with 74 rubles before.