Ukrtelecom Plans to Connect Eight Thousand Villages to the Internet
The project budget is estimated at 6 billion hryvnias, almost $230 million
Photo from ukrtelecom.ua website
Ukrtelecom, Ukraine’s monopolist telephone company, is planning to connect eight thousand villages in the country to the internet.
Ukrtelecom employees will require two and a half years to implement the plan. The project provides for the provision of broadband internet access to six million users, the press service of the company informed.
The project budget is estimated at six billion hryvnias, almost $230 million, out of which 3.2 billion hryvnias, almost $124 million or 53.3 percent, will be through public investments or assistance from international donors. According to Denys Zakharenko, director of Ukrtelecom’s mass market sales and marketing department, this large-scale connection will provide 40 percent of the total rural population of Ukraine, with internet access.
According to the company’s calculations, this project requires installing 58 thousand kilometers of communication lines. On average, one village needs 7.3 kilometers of communication lines for internet access to be established.
Ukrtelecom’s CEO Yuriy Kurmaz says that this project will be submitted to the Committee for Informatization and Communications of the Verkhovna Rada.
The aim of the project is to connect rural schools to the World Wide Web and reduce the digital gap between cities and villages.
According to a study by Ukrtelecom specialists, today internet coverage in Ukraine is available in 98 percent of cities and only 44 percent of villages. Such a digital divide limits the ability of 8.3 million citizens to access digital services, in particular medical, administrative, educational and commercial. More than six thousand schools in villages do not have internet access.
To determine the scale of the project and its implementation, a full analysis was carried out in nine regions of Ukraine: Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Sumy, Rivne, Transcarpathia and Chernivtsi. Twenty-seven specialists conducted field studies. The obtained results extrapolated to other regions of Ukraine. The research is ongoing.