The universal internetization project begins
The government will approve a state broadband infrastructure development program in Georgia. As Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has stated, the program’s action plan centers on setting up a fiber-optic internet network in Georgia for more than 2000 settlements and villages.
According to the Prime Minister, the program was designed with the interests of the private sector in mind:
"As you know, we adopted a strategy several months ago in which the entire territory of Georgia was divided into several zones. The state program collaborated with the private sector to design the program so that it will not interfere with the private sector interests. On the contrary, it encourages the private sector to explore different settlements, according to various zones of interest, where there are low levels of internet accessibility. In places where it makes no economic sense to build internet infrastructure, construction will be fully funded by the Cartu Foundation. The Cartu Foundation is a charitable organization with no private business interests. According to preliminary estimates, this program will cost approximately 100 million USD. This project is a milestone in our country’s development, as access to information is the main prerequisite for the establishment of a free society. We believe that it will have great strategic importance for education and for the development of civil society, and it is good that in such a short period of time we were able to structure this project so that it will be as effective as possible in so many ways."
The Prime Minister added that the project is supported by the Cartu Foundation and Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency of the Ministry of Economy. This agency has established a special company, Open Net, to facilitate partnership between the public and private sectors.
"It is important that this network will be built on an open access principle,” the Prime Minister explained, “which means that the main infrastructure that we build will have both the technical capability and the business capability to allow providers to later join the main infrastructure if they so desire. This is a clear example of a project that is on one hand charitable, and on the other hand a really a remarkable example of partnership between the private sector and the state."