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The Head of the Government of the Republic of Karelia: Position

Virtual Material Space

The Head of the Government of the Republic of Karelia Sergey Katanandov speculates on the role of communication and computer science in Russia region development

In 1998 a new official server of the government power bodies of the Republic of Karelia was opened ( Now the residents of our region have a possibility to apply directly the government administration and executive and legislation power bodies.

In the course of the president election company I promised the electorate open and transparent activities of the government and the Head of the government. I see to it very carefully. Today it` funny to make "a mystery out of it". People have the right to know about the leadership activities. Only then they can really estimate and control the accepted decisions.

The server is being updated on a regular base. More than 3 thousand people read it every day. Plenty of hits are coming from Scandinavian countries, Germany, Great Britain, Canada. The server has three versions: Russian, Finnish and English.

Operative and diverse sever information promotes to create the attractive image of the republic and international cooperation development, especially with the countries of the European North.

Massive application of information technologies, based on computer technique and telecommunications was started in Karelia from the beginning of 90ies. At that time the local computer nets and data base were started spontaneously. The idea of the importance of information began spreading in the society. Information was believed to be of the same importance as natural, power and other material resources. But they have to be used effectively.

In1994 the telecommunication assembly of federal university net of Russia (RUNNet) was put into practice attached to Petrozavodsk state university. The work had to be done to create and fill the nets of education, science, culture and public health care. It was the first serious step to form the uniform information space of Karelia.

The first republican server WWW-sever "Karelia" ( was opened in Petrozavodsk university in 1995. The exit to the Internet is being made through Finland.

In1996 the research teams of the university and the Karelian research center (KRC) worked out the informatization problem of the Republic of Karelia. Creation of information telecommunication infrastructure of the republic and rational use of data bases was determined as a priority.

Information net filling is being made through distributed thematic WWW server system. Scientific data bases (ecological, geological), educational (learning courses, electronic textbooks, reference books on different subjects), medicine, juridical data bases, historical-cultural materials of the republic..

With the help of new technologies there is a possibility to implant new forms of learning.

The schools of the village of Kotkozero, the settlement of Girvas, the town of Medvezegorsk , involved in the Internet ,can boast new experience. Having connected computers to the Internet, they can make information support of learning and conduct consultations. As a result, information isolation is not an obstacle any more despite the far distance of the data base. The implantation of distance learning helps to overcome the difference in the preparation level of students in Petrozavodsk and in districts of the republic, the inadequate access to higher education, to take training courses.

Besides education problem solution communication with distant settlements helps to render medical and social assistance. The cardiotelehealthcare project is being made in Karelia. In the course of the project E-mail was used for televising the examining results of the settlement of Shuya to the diagnostic center in Petrozavodsk. Then the sanitation measures were taken. The experiment proved telehealthcare to be efficient.

At present the largest enterprises of the republic are making their own sites and servers - the Onega tractor plant, "Segezhabumprom", Petrozavodskaya TEC. To promote small and medium-sized business in the Internet one can find information about small and medium sized enterprises.

To date there are hundreds of enterprises and thousand users. But to bring the Internet to every even small settlement the republic needs technical reorganization of the communication system.

The main operator of electrocommunication in the republic is the joint stock company "Electrosvyas". It serves the local, long distant and international communication, document electronic communication, the Internet and broadcasting. In the JS structure "Electrosvyas" there are 21 affiliates including 15 communication assemblies in the towns and districts of Karelia.

The total capacity of the telephone republic net is 188 thousand numbers. It includes 70 urban ATS (154,4 thousand numbers) и 208 rural ATS (33,6 thousand numbers). Digital ATS make 23% of net capacity, and speaking of the capital of Karelia - 55%.

The general development trend of the joint-stock company "Electrosvyas" is upgrading of already existing telephone nets using fiber lines.

The large amount of investment had to be attracted. In 1995 the agreement with the firm "Siemens AG"(Germany) was signed. It foresees the delivery of digital ATS of EWSD type with total capacity 65 thousand numbers to Karelia in 1996-2000. The cost of the project is 20 mln USA dollars. Thanks to the credits from "Siemens AG" in the sum of 2 mln dollars the first digital ATS was built in 1996, and the telephone net in Petrozavodsk was converted to 6-dial number.

In the frameworks of the president program "Russian public telephone" a special extra budget fund of communication development was made. The risen money of the population were directed to extraordinary telephone installation for the residents of the city. In 1997"Электросвязь" hold a commercial competition on investment terms and realized the shareholdings to be sold at the auction according to the privatization plan. The sum of money was 32,4 billion of rubles (prices of 1997). Besides the investments were received in the sum of 9100 USA dollars. Thus the realization of the project was increased.

Very important work is carried out by the territorial center of intertown communication and television N 23 (TCICT-23). The center provides the exit of Karelia to the net of common using in Russia and also in CIS. The population of the republic receives central and local programs via cable and radiorelay nets. The center is one of providers of the Internet service in Karelia.

Communication development, promising technical means implantation creates equal opportunities to the citizens of the republic, inspite of the place of their permanent residence, to use the information resources to the full extent. The use of virtual space gives visible material results.

The most peaceful and bloodless revolution - science-technical- is going on. Especially rapidly it is going in the sphere of communication. It is beneficial for the social-economic situation in the country and Karelia, for the everyday life of the people.

The Head of the Government of the Republic of Karelia: Position

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Created: 19 July 1999
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