Communications suffer setbacks in Azerbaijan

May 18, 2012

This week was full of negative issues related to the communication market in Azerbaijan. Bad news is not always good news. So here is my listing of the three main events:

First, and latest, is what happened to me and more than a million of other Narmobile (Azerfon) mobile operators’ subscribers. From early this morning until the end of day, the whole network service disappeared. All I knew is based on a reply to my tweet from the operator’s PR department and the press releases. The first, which came five hours after problems started, stated that operator wants to “improve situation” and working on it. But probably the problem is much bigger than presented so at the end of working day, the next press release said that a “technical accident occured”. No other news yet.

One day before, the Eurovision song contest websites and sites were hacked by unknown group. Some (not very deep) investigations said that it came from Iran. The Sites are now up, but the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology are investigating the case and announced that they will inform society of what happened.

The last one: Media Right Institute provided a three-month long monitoring on governmental agencies web site transparency. According to MRI, none of websites are totally transparent. Some agencies and ministries has very low percentage of transparency. To be transparent, one need to collect at least 50 percent, but sites for the Commission of Higher Attestation under President, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Defence, the Baku Metro System and some others have only 4-11 percent.

(Photo by photosteve101, Creative Commons licensed)

About the Author

Emin Huseynzade

A leading new media expert Emin Huseynzade has consulted and worked with the OSCE, OSI, Internews, EJC, Oxfam and other international organizations. He is actively involved in projects covering Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Central Asia. Follow him on Twitter: @eminhuseynzade
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