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Bureaucracy Delays Development of Russian Internet
31 October 2006
Bureaucracy Delays Development of Russian Internet

MOSCOW, October 27 (Itar-Tass) - The results of the first study of the level of the Internet development in Russian regions have been made public in Moscow. They testify to the fact that the tempos of spread of advanced technologies to Russian rural areas are slow. On the whole, the subject matter of an Internet marathon held between 13 cities of Central Russia, Urals and Siberia fully corresponds to the tasks set in the federal programme Electronic Russia.

The study results were summarised at the Itar-Tass headquarters in a nationwide conference that linked constituent entities of the Russian Federation online. A total of 22 million people are permanent users of Russia’s Internet or Runet at present. The highest level of the global network development has been registered in Yekaterinburg. St. Petersburg is second and Arkhangelsk and the Krasnodar territory have shown the worst results.

According to Ivan Kurnosov, an adviser of the government information department, “There are no problems with connecting to the Internet in Russia’s major cities and so it is necessary to give attention to small cities and villages.” Underdeveloped telephone and electricity supply lines there, the lack of coordination in IT problems between the local authorities and Internet business creates a problem in rural areas.

The Internet marathon organised by Itar-Tass, the NGO Russian Regional Centre for Internet Technologies (ROCIT) and TransTeleCom continues a series of relevant actions. It is the second such action aimed at the development of telecommunications in Russia ­ the first one was the InfoCom 2006 exhibition on issues of remote Internet connection that worked in the Russian capital a week ago.

In the view of Yekaterinburg participants in the current marathon, the lack of IT specialists impedes the development of the Internet in regions ­ poorly trained personnel come from higher educational establishments. It is believed in Khabarovsk that the problem is technical incompetence of officials that are charged with the task to develop the Runet.

It was announced within the framework of the conference that 10 portals created in the Siberian federal district have been awarded with diplomas of the Internet projects festival. ROCIT head Mark Tverdynin said that a total of 1,000 applications from seven federal districts have been submitted to the competition commission. The website of the Duma (legislature) of the Tomsk region has won in the nomination “The State.” The Krasnoyarsk territory is the leader in the Siberian federal district.

An official of the Rospechat (Russian Press) agency Yuri Akinchin said that this year the agency has provided in grants 62 million roubles for the support of 51 Russian Internet projects.

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