10:31 | 11.05.10 | News | 3538

«We will stimulate development of national content”

 “ArmenTel” CJSC General Director Igor Klimko’s interview to Mediamax Agency and Banks.am portal 

- Mr. Klimko, during a year that you have been working in Armenia, you have repeatedly stated that it is important to develop national internet content. What is your interest towards this topic conditioned by?

- My interest, as the Head of the united integrated connection operator, first of all, is to provide Armenian users with quality services of internet access at an affordable price.

The international practice shows that the most correct and economically efficient way is to keep as larger volume of traffic as possible inside the country. It is obvious that relief of expensive external channels will lead to decrease of the prime cost and will allow reducing the prices, at that improving the quality of services. Both subscribers and suppliers of internet services will benefit from this.

As the Head of the united national operator in the country, I feel responsible for the state of Armenian internet segment. I take and will take all efforts to stimulate its development. This is reflected both in support for various initiatives, aiming at creating unique content in the national language, and in implementation of various, at the first glance unnoticeable, but nevertheless very important technologic projects. 

- What is the role that Beeline is ready to take upon itself in developing national content in Armenia?

- We are ready to do everything depending on us to stimulate national content. In order to localize the content, we suggest companies placing their servers at our platforms; we offer territory, equipment and technologies.

We have supported and continue supporting projects, aiming at creating national content. In particular, we have been cooperating with Microsoft Company for already the third year in this direction. By opening computer classrooms and providing internet to educational establishments, we stimulate demand for the educational content and thus we also assist elaboration of national content.

In the nearest future, a few websites of cultural and educational orientation will be launched. We have supported these websites within the framework of our corporate social responsibility. For instance, we funded the formation of Armculture.am websites, which will start functioning in the nearest future.

We have also elaborated a few projects for cooperating with various media companies, helping them to attract visitors to their resources in Armenian language. There is volume work in process, but much more work is yet to be carried out.

- What is the role the state can and should play in development of national internet content?

- To my mind, the regulatory structures on behalf of the state have played an important role in this issue, by making a decision to approve an order for local traffic exchange among providers, thus protecting the interests of all users of internet services in the country and creating perquisites for further development of the sphere.

On the other hand, in the process of developing the sphere, the necessity for additional legislative corrections may occur, and in that case, the state should operatively react and make weighted decisions, basing on interests of the internet society in general.

It is impossible to overestimate the role of the state as the “canonist” of this sphere. I can note with pleasure the high level and the exclusive content of many governmental resources. One can literally see how the level and the all-comprehensiveness of state structure’s presentation in internet increase. All this defines the standard, which both individuals and developer companies will be striving to reach.

Another aspect is formation of state order for creating and spreading electronic books, libraries and video materials for educational purposes, internet resources in the sphere of culture. It is not out of place to note here the importance of the governmental program on introduction and full application of electronic document turnover, which is in process of realization and which will allow significantly increasing interest of citizens towards using high technologies.

- If we look at the statistics, which Circle.am resource provides, as to visits the leading websites are the ones placed in ru zone and lacking special relation to the Armenian reality. According to you, how long can such situation last?

- It seems to me that one should start thinking about how quality of local content meets today’s requirements of the domestic users. There is a need for serious work here, including realization of marketing research, study of advanced practice, analysis of the content in order to reveal “spheres for development”. I believe that the situation you mentioned will not undergo serious changes as long as Armenian users are not offered alternatives to popular foreign websites.

- The data of the same resource evidences that the majority of popular resources, elaborated in Armenia, prefer to use the services of foreign hosting. According to you, does this issue also have indirect relation to the problem of developing national content? What is the reason for website owners to trust foreign servers more?

- I believe that here is an entire complex of issues, and not a single particular reason. For instance, before PSRC made a decision on traffic exchange, the transmission capacity of channels, connecting networks of local providers, caused many problems. Because of that, it often happened that a certain resource with foreign hosting was more available for Armenian users than ones, which, for instance, was based on a service, located in the neighboring building.

In addition to this, there are issues of quality software and technical support of the server, their cost and, this is not of less importance, the level of information protection of the provider’s network. I believe that taking into account all these factors, price-quality correlation led to preferring foreign hosting. “ArmenTel” does not provide hosting services, but, as I have already mentioned before, it is ready to provide its own territory, equipment and technologies to hosters, and this will allow making placement of servers in Armenia more advantageous. Besides, the understanding of the necessity to “mirror” certain popular websites has appeared, and this may also have its positive effect, given equal access of all users to these “mirrors”.

- Copyright protection in Armenia is in a sad state today. Can one seriously deal with development of national content without fundamental measures on copyright protection?

- I do not see direct relation between these problems. The problem of copyright protection is urgent in the entire world and if someone wants to steal a copyrighted text, he/she will easily do that both from a local and from a foreign server. In this context, I see the necessity to increase the awareness of Armenian copyright owners on modern technologies for protecting electronic content. For instance, DRM (Digital Rights Management) is becoming more popular in the West. This is a system of technologies, allowing limiting non-sanctioned copy or use of digital content without the permission of the copyright owner. Besides, the Armenian legislation in the sphere of copyright protection gives quite a few tools for carrying out that protection. I believe that the experience of colleagues from Microsoft shows that authors and copyright owners still have opportunities. One should simply use them with greater consistency.