Member of Parliament of Ukraine Andrii Derkach has forwarded an MP appeal to the Government with specific suggestions on dealing with the issue of quality Internet connection in the rural areas.
The inquiry points out that current legislation requires the village councils to carry out various kinds of registration, reporting, and rapid exchange of information. The lack of reliable Internet connection makes the efficient performance of these functions impossible and often leads to providing the residents with low-quality services.
Moreover, considering the rapid development of interactive methods of education and constant amendments of school programs pertinent thereto, the lack of quality and fast Internet in the village schools halts the completion of the curriculum and prevents both the pupils and teachers from competing with city schools in terms of quality of education. Therefore, it is much harder for the village school graduates to successfully pass the External Independent Evaluation and gain high scores.
Member of Parliament believes that the real solution to this problem is to set up modern Internet connection in the rural area using telecommunications market enterprises that operate in the specific territory, since these enterprises can, and in many instances must, sign the agreements on social and economic cooperation with district and village councils.
“Under current circumstances of monopolism and high profitability of the Internet technologies market, social responsibility of the business before the society should become the necessary element of operation of any such enterprise. The license of mobile operators must include specific conditions, which provide the realization of Internet connection for rural areas, as well as special rates for general educational institutions – schools, boarding schools, and kindergartens”, Andrii Derkach commented on his MP appeal.
The document underscores that in order to fully solve this issue, it is necessary to develop the state program of realization of the quality Internet connection network in the rural areas of Ukraine on the governmental level.
According to the results of poll, over 62% of Ukrainians over age of 15 (22,8 million people) use the Internet no less than once a month. Most of the Internet users concentrate in the cities with population of 100 thousand and more – 69%. As for Ukrainian villages, only 47% of residents have access to the Worldwide Web. The cities with population over 1 million have the widest Internet coverage – 84,8% of households. In less populated cities (from 50 thousand to 1 million people) this number reaches 55,6% , whereas in small towns and villages – 43,8%.
Back in 2011, the National Commission on Communications Regulation planned to provide all our villages, including those hardest to reach, with quality Internet connection in one “swift move”. Yet in reality there has been little to no progress.