World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is celebrated on May 17.
The date of the holiday is connected with the creation of the International Telegraph Union on May 17, 1865, later renamed to International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Subsequently, ITU (the UN specialized agency) at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya in November 2006 decided to further celebrate May 17 as the "World Telecommunication and Information Society Day".
ITU is the oldest international organization within the UN structure and it widely celebrated its 150th anniversary two years ago. Uzbekistan is also a member of the ITU and actively participates in its work. This year, this day was marked under the topic: Great data for creating a powerful momentum.
In this regard, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications together with the International Press Club organized a press conference on "The State and Perspectives of the Information Society Development in Uzbekistan".
A video was shown with a message from ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao before the event.
Sherzod Shermatov, acting Minister for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan reported to the representatives of the media on the state and prospects of the information society development in Uzbekistan.
The main tasks for 2017-2021 in the Action Strategy for the five priority areas of development as well as within the framework of the State Program "Year of Dialogue with the People” are as follow: creation of a favorable ICT infrastructure, in particular, development of mobile communications and digital television, construction of fiber optic communication lines, support and all-round assistance in the development of software, improvement of the "e-government" system.
In this regard, there are a number of practical measures aimed at introduction and development of modern technologies in the activities of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, in the process of issuing passports, visas and exit stickers, in the work of law enforcement bodies.
As it was stressed, a very important part of creating the infrastructure is increase in the number of mobile subscribers, which reached 21.4 million this year. For the broadest coverage of mobile communications in the regions of the country, more than 18,300 mobile communications stations throughout the country had been set up by April 2017. Within a year this figure will exceed 20 thousand.
At present, special attention is paid to development of opportunities for providing high-quality, high-speed communication and data transmission using 4G / LTE technology. For example, this year domestic operators plan to launch more than 450 mobile 4G mobile stations in the regional and district centers of the country.
Great importance and attention is paid to improving the level of development of the "e-government" system and conformity of the quality of public services and infrastructure with international standards and ratings. In particular, the indicators of the use and coverage of Internet services, mobile communications, number of mobile subscribers, number of broadband and wireless Internet users for every 100 people are taken into account.
Despite the fact that there are more than 20 thousand km of fiber-optic lines in the regions of the country, unfortunately, the average number of broadband Internet users is 1.33 for every 100 respondents. This, in particular, significantly and negatively affects the position of Uzbekistan in the world ranking in this direction.
Today, work is already being done to correct this situation and to provide access to high-speed broadband Internet for wider layers of the population. The work carried out within the framework of the Action Strategy to ensure uninterrupted access to Internet services continues. In particular, it is planned to organize coverage of more than 277 thousand kilometers with fiber-optic communication lines by 2021. Taking this into account, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications actively supports the proposals and ideas for creating production focused on local products output, in particular, fiber-optic cables. Now proposals have already been made that this enterprise will provide domestic production of 50 thousand km of high-quality fiber optic cable.
Conditions are created and proposals are also made for development of digital television and expansion of the number of Internet publications. As part of the Action Strategy, work continues to expand the capabilities of analog television. To date, 95% of the population has already been provided access to digital television. Our country also pays great attention to the technical capabilities and quality assurance of the use of DVB-T / T2 standards. In this regard, it is important to mention the relevance of increasing the DVB-T / T2 quality standards.
The speed of Internet connection is of great importance for modern users. In 2016, overall speed of using international information networks was (for providers) 26.3 Gbit/s, in 2017 it reached 65.7 Gbit/s that is more than doubled. But this is not enough given the rapidly growing needs of Internet users in Uzbekistan. With this in mind, projects are being implemented to achieve the speed of access to external channels up to 200 Gbit/s.
It is related to the fact that over the past year the number of Internet users in our country has doubled. In particular, at the moment, the number of Internet users in Uzbekistan has reached 14.7 million. The growth made up 2.6 million subscribers compared to the same period last year.
As for the cost of Internet services, in 2013 the price of connection to international channels for Internet providers was $ 422 (for 1 Mb/s), this amount has been reducing dynamically for 4 years, and it is $ 67.85 now.
Nevertheless, the cost of Internet services for the end user is not so low. Compulsory condition for cheapening the Internet service is development of national content. To date, the number of sites in the domain UZ grew by 7.4% and reached 32.5 thousand.
In this direction, such projects as "New Internet Initiative", "BestSoft Challenge", "OpenData Challenge" find practical implementation for even more rapid development of national content, growth of the number of youth content in the state language. In particular, the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on providing young people with information resources is under development.
Together with "Uzbektelecom" JSC a catalog of useful sites is connected for the youth audience in the framework of ZiyoNET tariffs "Start", "Active" and "Life". Tariffs give users the opportunity to access more than two thousand international scientific, practical and spiritual-educational resources. It is very important when protecting the younger generation from negativity in the Internet and for gaining the skills of proper orientation in the Internet space.
The industry also faces the task to develop digitalization and facilitate access to public services, stimulate and facilitate dynamic development of business.
A single platform created to effectively respond to problems or issues of society serves as a new driver for their prompt resolution. Of 786,000 appeals received to the President's Reception Office, 720,000 were resolved positively. The launched practice of consideration of applications activated non-working mechanisms of departmental work.
As part of the Strategy, a new version of the Single Portal of Interactive State Services has been developed which is already running in the test mode. The main innovation of the portal is possibility of forming a personal cabinet for legal entities and individuals and a single database "electronic government" that takes into account all the information about the user and the services that he used. The portal analyzes data by user type and generates content for it. For example, for a person, who is over 40 years old, registered on the portal, the system will recommend updating (changing) promptly the passport of a citizen.
All this made it possible to clearly separate the work with complaints and appeals from citizens and automation of public services. In this case, users will be able to use state services without any loss of time and resources.
Moreover, ICTs provide direct participation of citizens in the discussion of existing regulations and legislative initiatives to a large extent. For this period, 1254 draft documents were submitted for discussion at the System for Assessing the Impact of Legislative Acts portal. Based on the results of these discussions, the draft documents were substantially revised, which indicates the effectiveness of the portal.
The press conference organized by the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications in conjunction with the International Press Club was held in the format of a dialogue of journalists with experts in the ICT field.
The main topic of discussion was not the achievements, but the prospects for dynamic development and ways of solving problems that hamper full development of modern ICT in Uzbekistan.
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