By 2017 the entire country will have access to high-speed internet, promised Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
At a press conference today at the Holiday Inn Hotel, the Georgian PM said the Government was actively working on a project titled High Speed Internet for Everyone, which envisaged connecting everyone in Georgia with high-speed internet.
Garibashvili noted this topic had been regularly discussed by Government members in the past but offered no further information about the project. Currently it is estimated about 40 percent of the population have access to Internet.
"This project aims for fiber-optic cables to be spread in all the villages and towns of Georgia,” Irakli Garibashvili told reporters at today’s press conference.
"By 2017 Georgia should be provided with high-speed Internet. Implementing this project is important for a social and economic point of view,” he said.
It is not yet known which company will implement the project, when it will be implemented or the total cost of the project.
In January this year the Government showed a strong interest in providing the entire country with high-speed Internet.
Georgia's Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili said the Government intended to support the establishment of a trunk cable system that will ensure top-quality Internet for 2,000 settlements in Georgia.
"The company responsible for creating the system will be obliged to provide the whole of Georgia with central networks in the course of three years. After this happens, providers will be able to bring Internet to individual users,” Kvirikashvili said.
"Through our calculations, the whole of Georgia will be provided with high-speed Internet by the end of 2017.”
The Minister added the initiative will play a positive role in Georgia's socio-economic field.
Latest data from the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) revealed that the number of Internet subscribers in Georgia has increased in recent years. In 2010 there were 252,131 subscribers who browsed internet through wired internet, and as of October 2013, the number of these subscriptions had increased to 434,969.
In terms of regional accessibility, IDFI data showed Internet access was most prevalent in capital Tbilisi, (with 273,392 subscriptions), followed by Imereti with 42,198 subscriptions.
In Georgia’s regions, access to internet was "uneven”, noted IDFI. Out of these regions, wired internet was least accessible in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Guria and Mtskheta-Mtianeti. By October 2013, a total of 4,928 wired internet subscriptions were recorded in these three regions.