Internet in Belarus

    In early September 2013, a petition was initiated , directed by the head of Beltelecom RUE Sergey Popkov, as well as a number of other persons (the director of the RUE National Traffic Exchange Center Nikolai Kochkin, the head of the Operational and Analytical Center under the President of the Republic of Belarus Sergey Shpigun), demanding ... improve the quality of Internet access services. What is the problem of the Internet in Belarus? The problem is that 2 state-owned enterprises share access to international Internet channels: the National Traffic Exchange Center (NTSOT) and Beltelecom (also providing Internet access along with other providers under the “byfly” brand). Help from Wikipedia :


    Until 01.04.2012, only one company in the country - the state-owned enterprise Beltelecom (the official current name is the Republican Unitary Telecommunication Enterprise Beltelecom) had the technical ability and monopoly on the organization of interconnections of provider networks within the country and the provision of access to providers on international telecommunication lines . Since April 01, 2012 Beltelecom has been interconnecting the networks of providers within the country along with the recently created RUE National Traffic Exchange Center (NTSOT)

    The existence of such a state monopoly quite naturally implies the terrible quality of access to the Internet and its unfairly high cost.
    For example, unlimited wired (which will be discussed later) Internet access with a receive / upload speed of 4096/512 kbit / s will cost € 10 per month.

    It is clear that the petition is only a tool to attract attention to the problem. At the moment (September 7, 2014), the petition has collected 21.500+ signatures of Internet users, most of whom live in Belarus.

    On the petition page you can find the comments of the signatories. Here are some of them:
    The service charge is completely out of line with the quality. Beltelecom’s monopoly makes it impossible to use better services.

    For the money that we pay for the so-called "high-speed Internet", he could at least just be fast!

    Tired of persistent internet issues.

    Change - our hearts demand.
    Change - our eyes demand.
    In our laughter and in our tears,
    And in the ripple of veins:
    We are waiting for change.

    A year passed and it was decided to check whether something had changed in the quality of the provided Internet access by Beltelecom.

    The survey involved 2130 Internet users who signed up for the petition. Of these, 90% use the services of the byfly provider, which was emphasized at the start of the petition. Most Internet users in Belarus are customers of this particular provider.
    Here are some survey results:



    Not to mention that access to objectionable authorities is periodically blocked (sometimes along with their blocking by Rostelecom), many users are faced with being banned from Google! Are you kidding me?


    Lucky when Google asks for a simple captcha:


    However, sometimes it may be unlucky and access to Google will be completely closed: This


    happens because byfly uses such an IP allocation scheme when up to hundreds of machines correspond to one IP, some of which may be part of the botnet and send spam.


    By the way, Belarus is one of the world leaders in spamming: When contacting support, experts either blatantly lie (“your computer is infected with a virus, I can’t do anything”) or provide generally reliable information (“Google blocks access, we are not responsible for this ”). However, this does not help ordinary users in any way. Speaking of customer support, 65% of those surveyed have ever contacted customer support. However, only 13% are completely satisfied with the solution to their problems:


    This indicates both the extremely low level of technical support work and the fact that the byfly provider is “problematic”, together with Beltelecom.

    Obviously, the way out of the situation is to demonopolize the market, because competition in the general case leads to an increase in the quality of services. But how to achieve it?

    In the comments on the survey, I found only one constructive suggestion: “ change the president ” ...

    UPD: A survey was added. The question should be understood broadly, i.e. the “quality of access services” includes the quality / price ratio of Internet access provided, the presence of choice in the market, and the quality of technical support services.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Are you satisfied with the quality of Internet access services provided in Belarus?

    • 6.9% I have a byfly, satisfied with 30
    • 21.8% I have byfly, partially (not) satisfied 94
    • 19.9% I have a byfly, not satisfied 86
    • 5.1% I have no byfly, satisfied with 22
    • 8.1% I don’t have a byfly, partially (not) satisfied with 35
    • 6.9% I don’t have a byfly, I don’t like 30
    • 31% I do not use wired Internet in Belarus 134

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