A Sector Assessment: Broadband in Russia

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Progress to date

Russia has achieved substantial progress in the areas of broadband and ultra-fast broadband access in recent years.

The country’s broadband sector performs on a par with or better than many countries in the European Union (EU).

Russia added more fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscribers in 2012 than all EU countries combined.

The average speed of Internet connectivity in Russia is faster than in France and Italy.

Russia's model of broadband development can be considered a global reference point.

Challenges going forward

While Russia has the potential to move forward with a steady growth rate, the long-term sustainability of a positive growth trajectory faces some risk.

The recent growth in ultra-fast broadband has been achieved primarily through a strengthening of the market shares of the incumbent operator, Rostelecom.

Competition safeguards are needed, therefore, in order to create a more level playing field among operators in Russia.

Russia also faces challenges in terms of its vast geography and the affordability of Internet connectivity in remote areas.

Although some progress has been made, considerable investment is still needed to connect populated areas that remain without adequate access to the Internet.

Russia is currently addressing these challenges at the policy level, but successful implementation will require further emphasis and effort.