(Trend News Agency (Azerbaijan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 16--The Communications and IT Ministry and the Oil Fund has allocated around 103 million Manat to implement a project for developing broadband Internet on the "Fiber to Home" model in 2013, Azerbaijani Communications and IT Minister Ali Abbasov said at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers today chaired by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev dedicated to the results of socio-economic development during 2012 and the country's upcoming challenges.
The project is profitable and will be implemented in three phases, he said. Beginning in 2014, around 30-35% of the total project cost will be backed by reinvestment.
The main goal of the project is to provide remote regions of the country with broadband Internet (at a speed of 10 to 100 Mbit/s) and expand the number of users up to 85%. Thus, according to this index, Azerbaijan will reach the level of developed countries by 2017.
Azerbaijan has maintained its leading position among the CIS countries in terms of broadband Internet penetration over the past three years, the minister said. Abbasov said that internet penetration rates in 2012 increased from 65 to 70%. Operations were conducted to improve the quality of data transmission services. The capacity of international communication channels increased by 2.2 times compared to 2011 and prices were reduced by 35%.
Today, the cost of connecting to the Internet at a speed of 1 Mbit / s is about 3% of the average wage. For comparison, the figure is an average of 20% in developing countries.
Azerbaijan became the ninth country, where the 4G network was deployed amongst European countries and 37th in the world. According to the ministry, there are 110 mobile phones to every 100 people in the country. The whole territory of the republic was covered by the mobile network for the first time among the CIS countries in 2010. Today, the majority of mobile users are also Internet users.
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