In Krasnoyarsk, Evgeny Buydinov speaks at press conference to mark commencement of test-mode operations of central switching station (Hub) in Ka-band western HSAS segment

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Commissioning of the satellite-supported high-speed access system (HSAS) western segment, and the first connectivity for commercial customers to operate using the Express-AM6 satellite, are scheduled for May 2016.

On 24 March 2016, the press center of Interfax-Siberia News Agency in Krasnoyarsk hosted a press conference, attended by Viktor Zubarev, Deputy Chairman of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Government and Minister of Economic Development, Investment Policy and Foreign Relations of Krasnoyarsk Territory; Evgeny Buydinov, RSCC Deputy General Director for Innovative Development; Andrei Romulov, General Director, JSC  “Iskra Design Bureau”; Anatoly Kuznetsov, Project Manager, JSC “ISS”.

Participants in the event have announced the long-awaited launch of the test-mode operation of the central switching station (Hub) in Ka-band HSAS western segment. The capability of the Express-AM6 spacecraft will ensure the provision of satellite broadband services in the European part of Russia, in the Urals, and Eastern Siberia. The federal project is aimed at redressing the digital divide between Russia’s territories. For the first time residents of the suburbia and remote hard-to-reach villages in 60 Russian regions with no communications infrastructure to their credit will obtain access to broadband satellite internet, which is comparable in price and quality with hard-wire internet.

“Our Ka-band network covers the territory from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka. In May, we are planning the first commercial connectivity. RSCC is doing everything possible to cut service costs for telecom operators. For their part, the operators are seeking optimal solutions for customers. For example, Iskra uses collective hook-up technology to reduce the price of satellite-supported Internet for consumers," - said Evgeny Buydinov.

RSCC has ordered the Express-AM6 satellite from JSC "ISS" which manufactured spacecraft, JSC " Iskra Design Bureau" has provided delivery, installation and commissioning of the central switching station (hub) in Dubna. Its commissioning for commercial services will give an important impetus to the development and provision of broadband satellite-supported Internet access in the highly-promising Ka-band in the European part of the Russian Federation.

"This large-scale project represents a successful symbiosis of the public and private endeavor, whereby government support and market competition have converged to cut service costs to the consumer. Launching this new hub opens up huge opportunities for the development of modern services and public e-services in remote areas of our country ", said Andrey Romulov.

According to Rosstat, the Internet penetration rate in small towns and villages was 66% at the end of 2015. The fact is that in remote and hard-to-get-to areas traditional forms of communication cannot operate. They are uneconomical or simply impossible due to geographic and climatic constraints and the absence of electricity. The digital divide can be successfully tackled using modern satellite communication technologies, such as broadband access in the Ka-band, provided by the latest RSCC satellites - Express-AM5 and Express-AM6.

"For the Krasnoyarsk Territory executive branch, it is of paramount importance to take advantage of this opportunity and provide a link for each person”,  stressed the Deputy Chairman of the Territory Government Viktor Zubarev.  “Our colleagues are addressing the task in the framework of public-private partnership. Now, more than 90% of the population can benefit from broadband internet access. This is a very important event. Another task set out by the president is to ensure availability of public services anywhere, in the tiniest small settlement, village, or whistle stop. The digital divide in the Krasnoyarsk Territory is being gradually eliminated. If not for this project, it would have been a lot more difficult", Viktor Zubarev said.