June 01, 2021 10:50

Communications Commission Publishes the 2020 Annual Report

The Communications Commission has published its 2020 Annual Report, which provides an overview of the projects implemented last year, as well as the challenges and plans for 2021. 

The report states that against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, the communications sector assumed an even more important role in 2020. As nearly all services switched to the online mode, the Georgian telecommunications sector managed to successfully respond to new challenges, for which it received recognition from numerous international organizations. 

The 2020 report  describes the internet quality control platform www.sheamotsme.ge, which gained increased importance during the pandemic. It gave consumers the opportunity to check their internet speed and quality 24 hours a day. Any identified problem was quickly resolved by the Communications Commission. In this regard, Georgia was recognized by the international organizations as the best example for improving internet freedom during the pandemic. 

The report states that the pandemic clearly demonstrated the need for further development of the telecommunications sector. To this end, the Commission took important decisions in 2020, such as providing solutions for the implementation of 5G technology. Works in this area are set to continue in 2021 andthe 5G spectrum auction will be announced. 

The report provides detailed information about the importance of allowing free access for virtual mobile operators to the local market. It also includes information about the changes to the Law on Electronic Communications. Furthermore, the report highlights the unlawful sale of shares in Caucasus Online, outlining the decisions taken by the Communications Commission as to this matter. 

The 2020 Annual Report extensively outlines the free media environment and the associated challenges. Georgia’s position in the Press Freedom Index further improved in 2020. The country is now among the leaders in terms of freedom of speech. Georgia’s achievements in the field of audio-visual media and information society services have been positively evaluated by the European Union, which asessed the country to have achieved progress with regards to European integration. International recognition once again highlights the pluralistic, diverse and free media environment in Georgia. Nevertheless, the media space is saturated with unprofessional, low-standard and fake news, hate speech, profanity and obscenity. This was confirmed by the results of media monitoring carried out by the Communications Commission during the pre-election campaign and remains a significant challenge in 2021. 

The report also reviews the commercial advertising revenues collected by broadcasters in 2020. Against the background of the pandemic, revenues from commercial advertising alone decreased by 9% compared to 2019, with Rustavi 2 accounting for a significant part of the losses. The Commission’s forecasts from the beginning of the year came true, and the total advertising revenues collected by the broadcasters increased by 11% on account of political adverts. 

The 2020 Annual Report of the Communications Commission provides a detailed review of the media literacy projects implemented during the year. In 2020, these media literacy projects involved students as well as school pupils. The Media School responded to the challenges created by the pandemic and introduced the online masterclass – a unique project designed both for active journalists as well as newcomers. The online course allows persons interested in journalism to learn how to create a high-quality media product. Over one million people viewed the materials published on the web-platform www.Mediacritic.ge. Furthermore, the Media Lab of the Media Academy began operating in 2020, actively supporting the development of interesting projects and start-ups in digital media. 

The report describes international achievements and activities carried out in 2020. 

The 2020 Activity Report of the Communications Commission can be viewed here.


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