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Monday 27 February 2012

Number of Internet Users in Kazakhstan Exceeded 8.7 million


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(Interfax) – The Internet in Kazakhstan is growing rapidly. The density of Internet users is estimated at 53.4 for every 100 residents.

Internet cafe – Cafemax
In Kazakhstan people use the term “Kaznet” to refer to the internet space originating from and related to Kazakhstan. Similarly, they use the terms “Uznet”, “Kirnet”/“Kegnet”, and “Runet” are used to refer to Uzbek, Kyrgyz, and Russian internet spaces, respectively.

According to the Interfax agency, the number of Internet users in Kazakhstan exceeded 8.7 million people. At the end of 2010 the number of Internet users in Kazakhstan was estimated at 4.3 million. The density of mobile communication users in January 2012 equalled to 151 for every 100 residents and the number of subscribers increased to 24.6 million.

Between 2001 and 2005, the number of Internet users increased from 200,000 to 1 million. By 2007, Kazakhstan reported Internet penetration levels of 8.5%, rising to 12.4% in 2008. There are five first-tier ISPs with international Internet connections and approximately 100 second-tier ISPs that are purchasing Internet traffic from the first-tier ISPs.

The National Statistical Agency reported that 73% of users access the Internet by dial-up, 15% by means of ADSL, and 6 percent using satellite access. Over 50% of users accessed the Internet from home in 2008. 42% of families living in towns with populations of at least 70,000 people have a personal computer. KazakhTelekom (KT) reported an increase in its broadband subscriber base from 270,000 to 456,000 in 2008. Despite these increases, Internet usage is concentrated in urban centres, while outside those centres access remains beyond the reach of most Kazakhs.

Russian is the most popular language used on the Internet (94.1%), followed by Kazakh (4.5%), and English (1.%). A high percentage of Kazakh Web sites are hosted in Russia (including those on the country-code domain name .kz) while 6% of .kz domain Web sites are hosted in Kazakhstan, with the remainder hosted in Russia and elsewhere.

The cost of Internet access remains high relative to the average salary (54,500 tenge in 2008, or US $363). KazakhTelecom’s tariffs for unlimited ADSL access with capacity of 128 kbit/s were $30. However, as a result of the ongoing liberalization in the telecommunications sector in 2007, the operators’ tariffs fell considerably. Since 2007, schools in Kazakhstan are provided with free dial-up access, which is being expanded to include broadband connections (although access is restricted to Web sites and other Internet resources within the “.kz” domain).

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