Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend S.Babayeva / "We are concerned about the high prices for the broadband internet in Azerbaijan and we decided to take measures to reduce them on par with the average world prices," Rufat Gulmammadov the head of the Information Society Development Department of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information technology, said.
According to Gulmammadov, discussions were jointly held with internet providers of the country on possible ways to reduce the tariffs. "Dial up connection to the internet is disappearing world wide, and we are also interested in it. We want to reach it through broadening and stimulating the use of broadband internet in the country in Azerbaijan," a Ministry official said.
According to Gulmammadov, to reduce the internet prices on par with average world tariffs the Ministry is prepared to take the necessary steps. He considers that exploitation of the main network for AzDatacom data delivery could result in the successful development of broadband internet throughout the country. "This project will enable us to apply broadband internet communication services in homes. It is possible to use stationary telephone communication, internet of all speeds and television through one channel," Gulmammadov said.
According to the representative of the Communications Ministry, tariffs for internet providers were reduced seven-fold over the past four years, increasing the outgoing internet stream in the country by 25 times and incoming by 17 times.
Over the past year internet providers in the country, which currently number 30, did not make any offers to lower the tariffs or carry out reforms for development.
Presently the average prices on selected internet channels are 1mb totalling $900 - $1,600 in Azerbaijan depending on the quality of service. The number of users for selected lines is 2,000, comprising 11% of the country's population.