Development of fiber optic internet access in Azerbaijan to reach its peak by 2017

Development of fiber optic internet access in Azerbaijan to reach its peak by 2017

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20

By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:

Access to the internet via fiber optic lines will reach its peak in 2017, chairman of Azerbaijan Internet Society (ISOC Azerbaijan), Galib Gurbanov told Trend.

He said that this will be facilitated by implementation of the project on development of broadband internet (Fiber-to-the-Home), which will start in 2014. The project will cover the years 2014-2016.

"Currently, the fiber optic internet access penetration rate is about 10 percent. Despite their dominating position in the market today, the ADSL technologies are gradually becoming a thing of the past, giving a place to optical communication channels. As for the DialUp, today this type of connection is not popular among users," Gurbanov said.

According to estimates of the ISOC Azerbaijan, in 2017 the fiber optic internet access will cover approximately 60 percent of the country's internet market. Some 30 percent will account for wireless access technologies, and about 15 percent will fall to ADSL.

Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies previously told Trend that all settlements of Azerbaijan will be provided with high-speed internet access till 2017. Currently 70 percent of Azerbaijan's population uses the internet, and the level of broadband internet penetration is 50 percent.

The ultimate goals of the Fiber-to-the-Home project, to be realized with the financial support of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), include provision of the country, including its remote rural areas, with high-speed internet, as well as bringing the number of broadband internet users up to 85 percent. This will allow Azerbaijan to reach the level of developed countries by 2017.

SOFAZ is envisaged to allocate 103 million manats ($131 million) at the project's initial stage. The project's total cost is estimated at more than 450 million manats ($573 million).

The project is considered as highly profitable and starting from the second year of its implementation some 30-35 percent of its total cost will be funded through reinvestments.

The official exchange rate for December 22 is 0.7845 AZN/USD.

Translated by E.A.

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