Turkmenistan decides to let Internet take hold

The average monthly salary in Turkmenistan is $200, so it was unclear how many people will really be able to afford home connections and whether the government will block certain Web sites.

Turkmenistan decides to let Internet take hold
Turkmenistan has begun allowing private citizens to connect to the Internet, the latest sign that the reclusive central Asian nation is opening up.

The country's only Internet provider, Turkmentelekom, said last week that it has been connecting up to 20 homes daily since the start of the week, mainly in the capital Ashgabat. It said it has a waiting list of 2,000 people.

Since becoming president, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov has reversed some of the restrictions imposed by his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov who died in 2006.

Last year, Berdymukhamedov allowed the country's first Internet cafe. Until then, Internet use had been restricted solely to government employees, diplomatic posts and offices for major international companies.

But the average monthly salary in Turkmenistan is $200, so it was unclear how many people will really be able to afford home connections and whether the government will block certain Web sites.

In recent years, however, satellite TV dishes have become widely popular, particularly in Ashgabat and other larger cities, giving more affluent Turkmen families access to Russian, Turkish and other foreign television.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2008, 08:19
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