Socio-Geographical Assessment of Physical Access to Telecommunications Networks in Russian Cities

Author(s):  V.I. Blanutsa, Dr., no, V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia, blanutsa@list.ru

Issue:  Volume 43, № 2

Rubric:  Earth sciences

Annotation:  The article presents the results of the assessment of physical access to telecommunication networks in all cities of the Russian Federation. There are three levels of access – regular, high-speed and reliable high-speed. On the basis of the author’s database of telecommunication lines of Russia and official statistics by population, a special algorithm was used to distribute 1113 Russian cities across three levels. It is established that most cities belong to the highest third level of access. Clusters of cities with the first and second level formed problem areas. Seven regions and two intraregional groups of cities were identified as the most socially significant problem areas. Quasi-problem areas, which due to geopolitical risks can move from the third to the second or first level, separately allocated. The general territorial structure of access to telecommunications networks in Russia is such that the proportion of problem cities increases in the northern and eastern direction, and quasi-problem cities in the southern and western direction. The most problematic regions were the Murmansk region and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), while the Republic of Crimea and the Kaliningrad region became quasi-problem regions. Further studies on this issue may be associated with the definition of access levels in settlements outside cities, as well as with the study of the promising fourth level (reliable high-speed access with minimal latency).

Keywords:  digital economy, space connectivity, telecommunications network, problem territory, Russian Federation.

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