73 out of 100 people use internet in Azerbaijan

By Amina Nazarli

As many as 73 out of every 100 people in Azerbaijan are internet users, with 55 users of broadband internet (high speed ‚Äčinternet access), according to a report by the Communications and High Technologies Ministry of Azerbaijan on internet connection in the first half of 2014.

Internet connection is more and more accessible in Azerbaijan due to large scale improvement in this segment.

The penetration rate of broadband internet was 50 percent till June current year, the report said.

The total capacity of international internet channels has reached 250 gigabits per second, the report said.

The government takes various measures to improve this service in the country. Development of the national broadband internet project was one them.

Azerbaijan's State Oil Fund allocated 103 million manats ($131 million) for the development of broadband internet in Azerbaijan this year. All regions of Azerbaijan are expected to be provided with high-speed access to the internet by 2017.

Internet becomes of high demand in the post-Soviet country due to technology advancement. Azerbaijan widely applies e-governance and various services through internet.

Azerbaijan ranks first among the CIS countries for the number of internet users.

"E-Government" project structured in accordance with the "National Strategy on Information-Communication Technologies for the Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2003-2012)" targeted to make more optimal the relations between people and state agencies to ensure transparency.

In "The Global Information Technology Report 2014" annual report compiled by the World Economic Forum, Azerbaijan rose from 56th place, a year earlier, on 49th among 148 countries in term of "Networked Readiness Index". Azerbaijan even leaves behind Russia, which occupies the 50th place. The following are Turkey (51), Georgia (60), Armenia (65), and Ukraine (81).

Azerbaijan also maintains a leading position in the number of internet users per 100 people among the CIS, holding the 59th place out of 148 countries in the world.

The number of internet users will reach three billion people (42.3 per cent of the population of the planet) in the world by the end of 2014 according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

As much as 44 percent of households in the world will have access to internet by the end of 2014. Thus, this figure was about 31 percent in the developing countries and 78 percent in the developed countries.