A local perspective on the Internet Governance Forum

Oct 31, 2012

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will be held in Baku  in a few days, will bring hundreds of international visitors to Azerbaijan. They will discuss Internet governance for sustainable human, economic and social development.

But how will this global conference influence our local situation?

Some organizations are planning to hold meetings on these issues, but few local media are really interested in covering the issue. The IGF has not been promoted inside of country, as with Eurovision 2012. As a result, there is less media interest. In addition, many journalists don’t’ speak other languages, since they are not paid enough to afford courses. Plus, if you have other skills, you are no longer interested in a profession like journalism with such low wages.

However, there has been at least one positive developments in Azerbaijan’s tech/communications industry in the lead up to the IGF. It was recently announced that the country’s first  satellite, Azerspace-1, will soon be launched into orbit. The satellite will TV and Internet.  This is pretty big news as satellites are very popular in Azerbaijan with nearly 34 percent of the population watch TV from satellite. The launch will take place 6 February 2013.

The situation with Internet remains unchanged from the beginning of year. Expectations were towards more aggressive policies on spreading it to regions and lowering prices. But, as of yet, nothing has happened.

With an average speed of 3.71 Mbps, Azerbaijan places 110 of 178 in a ranking of countries with the highest Internet speed .  Using data from 304,764 test  from within the country, the ranking shows that the Internet speed of this years’  IGF host country’s is on the same level as countries like Namibia, Ecuador, and Laos.

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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