3.5 mln Russians have broadband

The number of broadband users in Russia is some 3,500,000 in Q3 2004. This is based on a definition of a broadband user as someone who uses broadband at least once a week, over a connection of at least a theoretical speed of 200 Kbps. Currently most of the users are found in the business segment, but 2004 has seen considerable activity in the consumer/residential sector, with all incumbent telcos beginning to roll out xDSL services and upgrading inter-regional backbone connections with fibre and/or radio. 2004 should end, according to analyst estimates with some 125,000 xDSL residential activated lines (100,000 in Moscow). In Moscow, crucially, prices for residential broadband services have come down over the summer in 2004 to below $30 for cheaper DSL tariffs. MTU-Intel, Moscow’s main DSL provider (operating over the MGTS fixed incumbent, and effective residential DSL monopolist) saw a fivefold increase in ADSL subscriptions from 4,000 to 20,000 in the first eight months of 2004.