Azerbaijan recently secured two elected positions at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 (PP-18) in Dubai.
Azerbaijan was elected to serve on the ITU Council for the upcoming four-year term, and Sahiba Hasanova — Vice-Chairperson of Study Group 4 (Satellite Services) at ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau — was elected to represent her government and region on the Radio Regulations Board (RRB).
ITU had the chance to interview Bakhtiyar Mammadov, the Chief Advisor of the Legal Department at Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, at PP-18 to discuss the importance of connectivity and how high-speed, affordable Internet has changed lives in Azerbaijan, and the world.
“Access to high-speed Internet totally changes the lifestyle of all the people. They could have access to education…. Telemedicine is also important…. Another opportunity is in agriculture. In rural areas, people having access to the Internet [means] they could easily sell their … very famous organic products,” said Mammadov.
For these reasons, the country has prioritized, “easy access to high-speed, good-quality Internet for the entire country,” said Mammadov.
“[The] government of Azerbaijan supported initiatives to build fiber-optic infrastructure [in the] entire country and [provide] accessible Internet for everyone, including the villages, and especially high-speed Internet for the rural areas at ten megabytes a second, but in towns and cities at least thirty megabytes a second. And this initiative [is] supported by and based on internal resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” explained Mammadov.
As Mammadov explained, ICT innovations have become integral to the country’s economy and investments have been prioritized by the government in a number of key areas, including newly established innovation centres and high-tech parks in the country and a new government body that looks at ICT innovation and how it is interlinked with the postal service, transport and other key services.