Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) plans to launch a three-year project for the rollout of a high speed fibre-optic network connecting all of the country’s settlements, reports Azerbaijan Business Center. According to Isbandiyar Aliyev, head of the MCIT’s Strategic Planning Department, the project will be carried out in three stages, each one covering one year through to 2015. ‘At present, the MCIT and the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) have drawn foreign experts in the preparation of an investment agreement for the project, and the agreement will be signed by the end of the first quarter of 2013,’ Aliyev said, adding: ‘Currently, the Ministry is conducting work on the project, but for wider coverage this requires large financial investments. After the signing of the investment agreement, we intend to announce a tender and in parallel to conduct work on laying fibre-optic lines in Baku and regions of the country.’ According to preliminary estimates, the rollout of the 18,000km fibre-optic cable will require funds of around AZN450 million (USD573 million).
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