Ganja loses private providers

Baku/10.08.21/Turan: Fast and stable Internet has become a prerequisite for a quality life. Since 2017, the Ministry of Communications, Transport and High Technologies has been replacing old ADSL technological lines with new fiber-optic GPON (Gigabyte Passive Optical Network). The commercial department of the Ministry - Aztelekom LLC regularly reports on the replacement of ADSL with GPON in rural areas. The last such message is about the villages of the Khachmaz and Zardob regions, where the telecommunication infrastructure is being improved, and fiber-optic (fiber-optic) communication lines are being carried out.

In reality, residents of private homes in the country receive a slow and unstable internet connection, a resident of Ganja Orhan Ismayilov informed about it in Turan. He writes that in multi-storey buildings, fiber-optic communication is carried out to each apartment, bu in private low-rise buildings this is impossible. “Aztelekom” can install a cabinet with its equipment on the street, leading to it with fiber-optic cable, but old copper wires are stretched from the cabinet to the houses on rickety wooden supports. Therefore, the quality of the Internet in such neighborhoods is the same as before the start of the nationwide Internet modernization program.

The problem is aggravated by the fact that over the past three years “Aztelekom” has been evicted from Ganja dozens of private provider companies - its competitors. This is done this way: private providers are forced to use the sewerage lines and stationary equipment of the Ganja Telecommunications Administration (GTA) and “Aztelekom LLC”, but these organizations have set such high rental prices that private traders cannot handle this financial burden. Replacing telecommunication subscriber cabinets with new ones, GTA and “Aztelekom” disconnect the equipment of private companies from them. As a result, providers are leaving the Ganja market.

People are forced to buy ADSL Internet at a speed of 2-4 mb / s for 10-20 AZN. Due to the old technology, users cannot get the Internet corresponding to the paid price. There is no other alternative in Ganja. It happens throughout the country.

“Modernization of subscriber cabinets is cosmetic, because if fiber-optic cables are laid before the cabinets, then after the cabinets the Internet goes to the consumer via old copper wires. This makes the upgrade incomplete. People are being deceived,” writes Orhan Ismailov.

He contacted “Aztelekom” and the Antimonopoly Service, having received standard responses about the consideration of his complaint and taking measures to eliminate the shortcomings.

Turan agency called “Aztelekom” and GTA. Responsible for public relations in both structures listened to us and asked to send them a letter from O. Ismailov, promising to respond quickly. A week has passed, but there are no answers.

Turan found an official letter from the Ministry of Communications, Transport and High Technologies from 2019, published in one of the media. In the letter, MSTVT responded to the appeal of O. Ismailov.

The ministry replied - the problem is not the lack of an opportunity for the population to choose an operator, but the discrepancy between the levels of equipment of private operators of the existing telecommunications network. Some providers, despite numerous appeals about the need to modernize the equipment, bringing it in line with the new NGN technology, did nothing.

The Ministry reported about replacing copper cables with fiber-optic ones in Ganja. The installed GPON technology provides Internet connection speed up to 100 Mbit / sec, as well as uninterrupted telephone communication. During the modernization work, short-term difficulties are possible, the Ministry writes.

The agency admits that the subscribers of private providers were cut off from the Internet. The ministry does not deny that its actions resulted in the forced withdrawal of private providers from the telecommunications market, and “Aztelekom” and its subsidiary in Ganja (GTA) turned out to be a monopolist dictating their prices and services to consumers.

We add that the described situation has developed not only in Ganja, but also in other regions of the country. In August 2020, Turan reported that, “The provider company Avirtel accuses “Aztelekom” LLC of illegally squeezing it out of Sumgayit.

 “Aztelekom” became a monopolist, with all the ensuing negative consequences for the population. The country has an Antimonopoly Committee. Its activities, as it turns out, are limited to sending disgruntled consumers formulaic, meaningless answers.

Officials should pay attention to the Article 4 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Antimonopoly Activity”. The Article states: dominant position is the exclusive position of an economic entity, which gives it the opportunity, relying on the superiority of its economic potential, to exert a decisive influence on competition and thereby hinder the penetration of other participants into the market. A dominant position is considered an economic entity whose market share exceeds 35% or other statutory limit.—0-


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