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Kazakstan Index

Experts consider Kazakstan's telecommunications facilities inadequate to support the type of economic expansion sought in the mid-1990s. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is the only provider of telecommunications services; its responsibilities include management and regulation of all aspects of the republic's telephone, telex, telegraph, data communications, radio, television, and postal services.

In 1994 only seventeen of every 100 people in urban areas and 7.6 of every 100 people in rural areas had telephones. These figures were above average for Central Asia but lower than those for other CIS countries. Of the republic's total of about 2.2 million telephones, 184,000 were located in Almaty. Current equipment is utilized at a rate of 98 percent, leaving no room for expansion or new subscribers, although in 1992 the waiting list had about 1 million names.

Sixty breakdowns per 100 telephone lines occur annually, a very high rate. Because much of Kazakstan's telephone equipment, most of which came from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, is obsolete, spare parts are scarce. In 1992 only 8 percent of exchanges used fiber-optic and digital equipment. International connections go through Moscow and via satellite links to Australia and Israel. In 1992 a total of 100 channels connected with countries outside the CIS, and 3,000 channels connected with CIS countries.

In 1994 there were about 4.75 million televisions and 10.17 million radios in Kazakstan. Landlines and microwave carry radio broadcasts from other CIS republics and China; the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) and the Russian Orbita satellite system provide satellite transmission of television broadcasts from other countries, and the Moscow gateway switch sends international radio broadcasts through eight telecommunications circuits. With Turkish aid, a new satellite ground station went into operation at Almaty in 1992.

Radio and television broadcasting is the exclusive domain of the Kazakstan State Radio and Television Company. In 1995 the broadcasting system included three national and thirteen regional radio programs broadcast over fifty-eight stations, an irregular Moscow relay of the Voice of Russia and Radio Netherlands, Radio Almaty (a foreign broadcast service offering English, German, Kazak, and Russian programming), one domestic television channel available through eight regional stations, and relays of two Russian channels and Kyrgyz and Turkish programming in Almaty.

Data as of March 1996

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