ASTANA – Construction has begun on a 20,000-kilometre optical fibre network that will supply high-speed internet to approximately 2.4 million citizens living in rural Kazakhstan by 2020, said Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev in a recent yearly report video posted on Facebook.
Approximately 1,200 villages including 3,500 schools, hospitals and akimats (administrations), will receive the service. The ministry chose Kazakhtelecom national telecommunication company to run the project.
The villages will be connected gradually in stages. According to estimates, more than 1.29 million people will have high-speed internet near the end of 2019. The rest should get the internet by 2020, said Vice Minister of Information and Communications Daryn Tuyakov.
Also according to the year-end video report, the ministry also started in 2018 the Digital Kazakhstan state programme’s large-scale implementation including through the opening of the Astana Hub Technology Park. The hub now manages 140 projects involving 1,200 participants and attracted 42 investors.
“There are all conditions for the development of the digital potential of our youth. The Digital Bridge international innovation forum was held, which designated and approved Kazakhstan as a regional IT hub,” the minister said.
The ministry has been developing infrastructure in bigger cities, such as Astana, Almaty and Shymkent as well as Karaganda and Aktobe to be labelled “smart.” Work is continuing to improve public services. Previously, citizens would wait for up to five working days to get a single verification document. Today, they can get the same document in a few clicks at home. There are 634 varieties of electronic services available, which is almost 60 percent of the total. Recently Public Service Centres (PSCs) began providing services using biometric data. In addition to digital PSCs such as in Astana, now operate in Almaty, Shymkent and Kostanai as well.
Seven big cities also opened migration service centres with a window for non-residents.
“In the year of the 60th anniversary of the Kazakh Television, a gradual transition of the regions to digital on-air television and radio broadcasting with the disconnection of the analogue has begun. Work continued on the development of the state broadcasting network in the border areas,” he said.