Ukrtelecom proposed to the state to achieve the target of 95% coverage of rural population with optical Internet on the basis of public-private partnership. According to the Ministry of Digital and Field Research of Ukrtelecom, at the moment only 65% of the rural population of Ukraine has the opportunity to connect to high-speed Internet.
The project is proposed to be carried out in two stages. At the first stage, it is proposed to provide Internet access in 3.9 thousand settlements within 2-2.5 years, the average size of which is 200 households. This requires the construction of 23,000 kilometers of optical highways to settlements and 26,000 kilometers of a distribution network. The result of the first stage will be the achievement of 85% Internet coverage of the rural population, as well as the connection of educational, medical and administrative institutions in these settlements.
To implement the first stage, Ukrtelecom is ready to invest UAH 1.6 billion, while investments from the state should amount to UAH 1.4 billion. This approach is consistent with the well-established European practice of public-private partnerships. The second stage provides for the connection of small remote villages, taking into account the optical infrastructure built in the first stage. Its exact cost has not yet been announced.
“Ukrtelecom, subject to transparent public-private partnership, is ready to satisfy the government’s request for the development of optical Internet in villages. We consider the amount of state funding in the amount of UAH 5.46 billion proposed by the Ministry of Digital Industry to be sufficient to connect social infrastructure institutions.
For its part, Ukrtelecom is also ready to make significant additional investments necessary to provide 95% of the rural population of Ukraine with the ability to connect to high-speed Internet, ”said Yuriy Kurmaz, Director of Ukrtelecom.
Recall that in 2019, Ukrtelecom estimated a similar project in full at UAH 5 billion, offering to independently invest UAH 2.7 billion, and get the remaining UAH 2.3 billion from the state.
At the moment, the Internet access network of Ukrtelecom covers 2600 settlements of Ukraine. In the first half of 2020 alone, the company laid almost 3,000 kilometers of optical cable, creating connectivity for 200,000 residents of 180 villages where there was no Internet at all.