Development Bank of Kazakhstan and Kazakhtelecom signed an agreement on opening a credit line for a public-private partnership project

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Kuanyshbek Yesekeyev, Aidar Arifkhanov and Abay Sarkulov (photo provided by Kursiv)

"We are glad to participate in such an important project as providing high-speed Internet to villages and auls with a population of more than 500 people. There are schools, medical institutions, government agencies, business, which high-speed Internet could make life much easier. Using it, you can get various certificates, consultations of doctors, access to online education, training materials, order the necessary goods and much more”, - said Aidar Arifkhanov, the Chairman of the Board of Baiterek NMH JSC, during the event.

Aidar Arifkhanov

The project “Provision Broadband Access to Rural Communities of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Technology of Fiber Optic Communication Lines” is the largest strategic project of Kazakhtelecom, implemented according to the scheme of public-private partnership. In accordance with the "Digital Kazakhstan" program, this project is implemented jointly with the Ministry of digital development, innovation and aerospace industry and is aimed at accelerating the technological modernization of the economy, as well as ensuring universal access to fiber-optic infrastructure and eliminating digital inequality.

As part of the signed agreement on the opening of a credit line between DBK and Kazakhtelecom, financing of the project with borrowed funds is planned in the period from 2019 to 2020.

"Previously, we have already cooperated with the development Bank of Kazakhstan, then we were able to successfully implement the project to deploy 4G network together with our subsidiary Mobile Telecom-Service LLP. Today we face an even larger task-providing remote villages with high-speed Internet. The implementation of the Project is an important stage in improving the level of digital literacy of residents in rural areas”, - noted Kuanyshbek Yessekeyev, the Chairman of the Board of Kazakhtelecom JSC during the signing.

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Kuanyshbek Yesekeyev

It should be noted that the fact of DBK approval of borrowings on this project for Kazakhtelecom reflects, on the one hand, support of the state and understanding of social importance of the project for the population. On the other hand, it reflects the high level of financial stability of the telecom operator, confirmed by international credit ratings. Thus, the current level of credit rating of Kazakhtelecom JSC according to Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's is " BB+", which is one of the highest indicators among analogous companies.

"The strategic objectives of this project are to improve the quality of life of the rural population through the use of digital technologies and the creation of infrastructure for the implementation of projects under the state Program "Digital Kazakhstan". The availability of high-quality Internet connection in rural areas will improve the speed and quality of work in public institutions, as well as increase the share of public services received in electronic form to 80% of the total volume of public services by 2022. In general, it is expected that the share of Internet users will increase to 82% by 2022”, - said Abay Sarkulov, the Chairman of the Management Board of Development Bank of Kazakhstan.

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Abay Sarkulov (photo provided by Kursiv)

Thanks to the project, almost 2.5 million residents of remote villages of the country will be provided with access to high-speed Internet. Until the end of next year, Kazakhtelecom JSC will build about 15,000 km of fiber-optic communication lines to provide 2496 Internet services to government agencies and budget organizations in 828 villages of the country. Currently, the company has connected government institutions in the villages of Almaty, Aktobe, East Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, West Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Kyzylorda, Pavlodar and Turkestan regions to fiber-optic communication lines.

The partner of Kazakhtelecom in the implementation of the project was the company QazTech Ventures JSC (a subsidiary of Baiterek holding) as an external technical expert and financial and technical consultant of the project.

Development Bank of Kazakhstan JSC is the national development institute for the modernization and development of the non-resource and infrastructure sectors of the economy of Kazakhstan, established in 2001. The main activities: the development of industrial infrastructure and manufacturing industry, the promotion and attraction of external and internal investment in the country's economy. DBK is one of the largest investment operators of state programs of industrial and innovative development. DBK is a part of Baiterek National Management Holding JSC.

Kazakhtelecom JSC is the largest infocommunication operator of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It provides fixed-line telephone services, broadband Internet access, pay-per-view digital television and various innovative services. The company is represented throughout the country, has its own network of service points, 16 data centers and contact centers. Kazakhtelecom actively develops promising areas of cybersecurity, IOT, smart city, smart home, 5G, etc. The company's shares are included in the official list of the Kazakhstan stock exchange (KASE), which guarantees a high level of transparency for investors, partners and other stakeholders.

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