According to Volodymyr Seminozhenko, Chairman of the State Agency on Science, Innovations and Informatization of Ukraine, the growing number of Internet users in the country demonstrates the need to expedite providing all Ukrainians with affordable an Internet connection, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers informs.
According to the survey of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, held from Sept. 13 to 23, 49.8% of the adult population uses the Internet in Ukraine. The growth rate for February 2012 – October 2013 is 16%, which is slightly less than the record jump of 34% from March 2011 to February 2012. In general, according to statistics, there are about 15.3 million Internet users in Ukraine.
Experts say despite the steady growing number of Internet users, a serious issue for Ukraine is unequal access to the worldwide web. If in the big cities the quality and level of services offered by providers is on par with Europe (84% of Ukrainian Internet users live in urban areas), the rural areas or sparsely populated settlements often feel handicapped in terms of the Internet connection capabilities.
Seminozhenko said this issue needs to be addressed, as the widespread use of information and computer technologies allows more efficiently and faster provide society with access to many social opportunities and benefits.
“The UN Human Rights Council has recognized the free access to the Internet to be one of the basic human rights. Therefore, in the development of information and communication technologies, the issue of the digital inequality is a top priority,”Seminozhenko said. “At a time when online features and services are growing, including those offered by the authorities, when the Internet is becoming an important source of access to information of public interest, and a real communicative platform, citizens can not be deprived of those opportunities”.
Experts say that without overcoming the gap in the quality of Internet services for people living in various parts of the country, the development of communications initiatives of the state, such as introduction of e-government, are extremely difficult.
International analysts have concluded that the Internet sector in Ukraine is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing in the world. Ukraine occupies 33rd place by the number of Internet users. The number of Ukrainian users in the European segment is 3% and by this indicator in 2012 our country made the top ten Internet countries of Europe. According to the Akamai Technologies, over the last year in Ukraine, high speed internet access has grown by 322%.