With a public-private partnership, the ambitious goal of the Ukrainian Government announced today at a briefing of the Ministry of Digital Transformation is absolutely achievable.
Ukrtelecom's regular field studies of the fast broadband coverage in villages match the research findings recently published by the Ministry. Today, only 65% of the rural population in Ukraine have access to high-speed Internet.
Ukrtelecom suggests two stages to achieve a target 95% optical Internet coverage in rural areas.
The first stage is supposed to bring the Internet to 3,900 localities averaging 200 households each over 2-2.5 years. To this end, it is necessary to build 23,000 km of optical trunk lines to the localities and 26,000 km of distribution networks. The first stage will achieve a 85% Internet coverage in rural areas and connect schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and administrative institutions in these localities.
Ukrtelecom is ready to invest UAH 1.6 billion to implement the first stage, while government investments should amount to UAH 1.4 billion. This approach is in line with the widespread European practices of public-private partnerships.
The second stage will connect smaller remote villages, using the optical infrastructure built during the first stage.
"As long as a transparent public-private partnership is ensured, Ukrtelecom is ready to help the Government meet the needs in development of optical Internet in villages. We believe that the government funding of UAH 5.46 billion announced by the Ministry of Digital Transformation is sufficient to connect the social infrastructure facilities. On our part, we are also ready to invest heavily to provide a 95% high-speed Internet coverage in rural areas," said Ukrtelecom CEO Yuriy Kurmaz.