Public joint-stock company Ukrtelecom has designed a project to connect remote settlements to the broadband Internet access service, which could cover 8,000 villages where 6 million residents are living, during two years, Director for Mass Market Segment at Ukrtelecom Denys Zakharenko said at the presentation of the project in Kyiv on Monday. The total cost of the project is UAH 6 billion, including UAH 3.2 billion (53.3%) of government investment.
He said that all villages with schools (6,900) and villages located close to them with over 100 households will be included in the project.
Ukrtelecom said that mass connection would ensure the coverage of 40% of the total number of rural residents in Ukraine with the broadband Internet access service, which would cut the gap between cities and small towns and villages by 75%, as the share of rural areas in Ukraine where the service is not provided would decline from 56% to 16%, from 8.3 million to 2.3 million people.
According to the calculations of the operator, some 58,000 km of networks should be built to cover 8,000 villages.
The operator said that 14,000 villages are not covered by the project. A total of 2.3 million residents live there. This could be a ground for the second wave of connections.
Thanks to the implementation of the project, broadband Internet access saturation in Ukraine would grow by 4.4%, and GDP would grow by 0.6%, which in the prices of 2018 is around UAH 20 billion. Growth of the national budget’s revenue could be UAH 5.4 billion.
Zakharenko said that the buyback period for government investment could be two years thanks to the increase in payment of taxes.
Ukrtelecom Director Yuriy Kurmaz said that the project will be presented to the government and parliament.