Uzbekistan and Internet

by Anonymous on 10/9/2004 · 3 comments

According to this article, the number of Internet users in Uzbekistan has reached 612,350. Although I am very curious about which methodology was used to calculate this number, I have to admit that I have found incredibly more Internet cafes in
Uzbekistan after a year of absence.

Usually Tashkent has always had a lot of Internet cafes, so the biggest surprise came from the development of Internet in the provinces, for example, in Namangan, third largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of more than 700.000 people, there have been only two or maybe three Internet cafes a year ago. Now, I have counted more than six Internet cafes just in one of the central streets of the town. Though, most of the time the clients of these Internet cafes play computer games, and dont use Internet, still the access is available.

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From the other side, the prices have also fallen for the Internet use, as a result of competition. Before the average price of an hour of Internet in a cafe was between 800-1000 sums ( o,8-1,0 USD), now the average price is between 500-750 sums. The connextion has also become a little better than before, though it might change from place to place.

The main efforts for the further development of Internet should concentrate, in my opinion, in providing free access to Internet in schools and Universities, developing the use of Internet by governement agencies (more of e-governement could have solved some part of the inefficiency and corruption problems), and making it more affordable to people. Some other issues, especially in the Internet news edition, will be resolved, as I see it, only as a part of a wider media development in Uzbekistan.


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– author of 49 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Education 2003–2004 Master Degree in Developmental Studies (DESS “Gestion et dynamisation du développement”), The University of Pierre Mendès France of Grenoble, France 1998-2003 Bachelor Degree in International Economics, The University of World Economy and Diplomacy of Tashkent, Uzbekistan Work Experience 05/2004-08/2004 Researcher, The Economic Mission of France in Istanbul, Turkey 04/2003-09/2003 Research assistant and Translator in the UNDP project UZB 01/04 on institutional reinforcement of the Higher School of Business under the President of Uzbekistan 01/2003-04/2003 Interpreter, International Department, The Higher School of Business, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 09/2002-01/2003 English Language Junior Editor at the Journal “International Relations, Law and Economy” of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 06/2002-09/2002 Intern, CIS countries Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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{ 3 comments }

Laurence October 10, 2004 at 6:50 am

Alisher, this sounds like good news. Beth Kolko of the University of Washington wrote an article or gave a paper saying that playing videogames was a good way to learn to use computers, and I think she is right. Many computer successful adult programmers started out as kids playing videogames. The more internet in the regions, the better for Uzbekistan, and the possibility of setting up mail-order businesses, especially now that you have those “plastic cards” for billing…

Asrorbek October 10, 2004 at 8:58 pm

Actually I am from Navoi and three-four years ago it was difficult to find cheap and fast net service in the city. There was a net cafe near the “Sarmish” restaurant which Nathan often went there to use internet. It was 1000 soum/hour. And it’s still 1000 soum/hour:) But fortunately, I think two years ago IATP(internet access training program) opened internet center for students and Peace Corps volunteers. Students can use it for an hour in a week or ten days. I used IATP internet service while studying in Tashkent. It was free that’s why the speed of net wasn’t so fast. But I went there for two years and it was helpful for me, while net cafes offered for 800-1000 soum/hour. I could save my money beacuse of free internet. I am grateful for IREX and USAID for their help.
Now at Univ. of Maine I have “limitless” access to internet. It’s also fast.
I think the main problem that the demand for internet in the provinces isn’t so high. As you told many customers come to the internet cafes to play games. That’s why net suppliers should try to create demand with lowering the price or offering other services.
But in 5-10 years I think the net service will be much cheaper and better than it is now.

Nathan Hamm October 10, 2004 at 9:58 pm

Asror, you’ll get addicted to this fast internet, dude. It’s like a drug. You do adjust back though…

Before the cafe next to Sarmish opened, there was a “Business Center” near the OVIR office that had internet access, two computers, and two very pretty young women who ran the place. The guys at Sarmish just couldn’t compete…

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