TODAY.AZ / Business

About $100m needed for TASIM project

14 January 2014 [12:00] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

A cost estimation of the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway suggests that about $100m is needed to accomplish the project.

Head of the TASIM project team Zaur Hasanov told Trend news agency that the mentioned amount is the initial cost estimation, and can be changed after in-depth considerations.

"An agreement on the project's implementation is expected to be signed by mid-2014. The agreement will determine the project's business model, management of traffic and distribution of investments and incomes, etc," Hasanov said. "It is expected that the agreement will also resolve the issue of laying the Caspian segment of cable line, which is an integral part of the project."

TASIM is a project of regional importance which aims to lay down a transnational fiber-optic line covering the countries of Eurasia, from Western Europe to Eastern Asia.

The project envisions the creation of a major transit link from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. The line will connect the major centers of information exchange in Europe and Asia together, stretching through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Germany. A reserve North transit line will traverse the territory of Russia, Ukraine, and Poland.

The TASIM will be implemented in two stages; during the first phase, leading regional countries and operators will create a major Internet transit infrastructure that links the West and East together. The process is planned to be finalized in late 2013.

In the second phase of the project, TASIM is expected to provide the Eurasian countries ? that do not have direct access to open sea, including Central Asian state, with Internet connection at affordable rates.

Under the plan, new fiber-optic lines will be constructed, while the existing lines will be upgraded and linked to the TASIM network.

In December, 2013, the participants of the TASIM project signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The document aims at outlining the further implementation of the project and determining the participants' power and role, financial expenditures, and legal status.

Azerbaijan is represented in the project by the International Relations and Accounting Center of Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies.

A growing number of countries have expressed readiness to take part in the project. Executive Director on Infrastructural Projects of KazTransCom JSC Alexandr Kislitsyn said earlier that Kazakhstan is interested in the TASIM project.

"The head of the presidential administration took the project under personal control. Accordingly, its importance in Kazakhstan has increased. Perhaps now we will make more efforts to promote the project faster," Kislitsyn said.

Negotiations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan on the construction of the Caspian segment of TASIM fiber-optic cable line are already underway, he said.

"Expanding the relations [between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan] is continuing. We are currently involved in bilateral talks by phone and letters. Practically all aspects of the relationship have been discussed," Kislitsyn said.

Experts believe that TASIM is able to guarantee an uninterrupted connection between Europe and Asia, adding that most of the fiber-optic routes connecting Asia to Europe and the U.S. are laid out on the seabed.

These routes are prone to accidents that may be caused by natural disasters and fishing boats. That is why Asian countries highly appreciate the importance of TASIM.

The TASIM project will contribute to creating an open information society in the region, increasing the speed of Internet connection, and promoting the development of Internet services which, in turn, will lead to economic development, economic diversification, and increased competition.

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