Villages in Russia’s Dagestan to Receive Hi-Speed Internet Access

At least 350 villages in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus republic of Dagestan will for the first time receive hi-speed internet access by 2018, the republic’s transport, energy and communications ministry said in an official statement on Monday.

According to the ministry, only 70 per cent of the Muslim republic’s 3 million-strong population have Internet access.

The local government’s communication expansion, dubbed ‘Bridging the Digital Divide,’ envisages providing a third of Dagestan’s population with fourth generation (4G) technology by 2018.

Russia’s main mobile companies are actively building a network to immediately expand 4G technologies beyond the capital Makhachkala to the republic’s main settlements Kizilyar, Kaspiysk, Khasavyurt, Buinaksk and Derbent, the communications ministry said.

“High-speed Internet access will provide our schools, hospitals, postal offices, and government agencies the opportunity to carry out activities in an efficient electronic form that will cut both costs and time for the local population. It will also reduce the risk of corruption and increase our authorities’ ability to combat extremism in the republic,” Dagestan’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry was also quoted as saying the total cost for the implementation of the project would exceed USD 14 million, or in excess of 1 billion Russian Rubles.

Dagestan is a Scotland-sized republic located in Russia’s North Caucasus, home to dozens of isolated ethnic groups. The impoverished mountainous region has been plagued by a low level Islamic insurgency that has killed hundreds since emerging in the wake of the outbreak of the Second Chechen War in 1999.

Nicholas Waller

 

Photo by Nicholas Waller

01 March 2016 13:04
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