The chief executive officer of Belarusian altnet Alternative Digital Network (ADN), Igor Sukach, has bemoaned state-owned incumbent operator Beltelecom’s low-cost broadband packages, saying it is making it difficult for the majority of internet service providers (ISPs) to gain a toehold in the market. Sukach told online news journal Tut.by that the telco’s low-cost pricing structure is currently acting as a bar to investment, as rival ISPs are put off from investing in new technologies, given the low returns to be made. ADN, which provides services under the Atlant Telecom and Shparki Damavik brands, has benefited from investment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which was drawn down at the end of 2011. It spent a total of USD4 million in its networks and services via the EBRD loan in 2012, but said that purchasing customer premise equipment (CPE) and the additional outlay related to the acquisitions of stakes in a TV network in Gomel and Minsk provider ‘Solo’, means that it is now working ‘with a zero net profit’. Nonetheless, in 2013 ADN is looking to invest in its networks, specifically with the rollout of Ethernet-technology in Minsk. At the end of December 2012 the company, which offers a range of broadband internet options, claimed to have close to 80,000 subscribed households in the county, including 55,000 cable TV subscribers.
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