.. n Moscow, which is more than 10,000 km away. If they had a problem with the Internet connection it would be costly and almost impossible to reach them by phone. The problem from the side of the provider, is that to base an office in every region in Russia is too costly. The most widespread provider in Russia is INSAR. In Moscow there are more than a few, the most used ones are CityLine Ltd., Matrex, Elvis telecom, Demos.
These providers service the whole city and a few regions close to Moscow. There are also providers that service specific districts in Moscow; an example of such is Ramenskoye Internet Service Provider. Examples of Internet Service Providers in the rest of Russia are: PO Sibiteks which works around Siberia, KamchatSvyazinform WWW which services Kamchatka, ISP in Kingisepp Leningrad region which services St. Petersburg region, Nizhniy Novgorod Information Networks which services the city of Nizhniy Novgorod, etc. Most of the universities in Moscow and other big cities are involved in the foreign exchange programmes. This makes a WebPages a necessity.
Some universities offer an english version, while some leave it to the reader to translate the information. Moscow State University has an English and a Russian WebPages with detailed information about the history of the university, the teaching professors, as well as information about the campus and the living arrangements. Other examples of such west orientated universities are: Plechanovskiy Academy, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Moscow Economics State Institute, etc. Even though most of the modern students are familiar with the Internet, universities still cant afford to provide free usage of computers connected to the web. There is no such thing as a computer room like in Vesalius, where students can research and keep up with current events through the web. The reason for that is the fact that in Russia users have to pay $ 0.12 per Kb for every page they read on the World Wide Web.
This is considered unaffordable since most universities are officially free, and an average salary is 4,000 rubbles, which is approximately $ 135. For the same reason Internet is still accessible to the privileged only, and of course scientific workers. Government organisations dont give any information that would be available to the citizens on the web. Every district has a central office, called Zhek a left-over from the communist way of life, which deals with electricity, renovation, pension incomes and other civil aspects of every day life. I had to deal with the structure and regulations of the above organisation recently, since I was formalising the ownership of my apartment.
Only in the central district Zheks they use computers to fill in the forms, while in others they are all done by hand. Internet is unheard of, unused and this innovation isnt planned for the nearest future. This is the case with all government civil organisations: schools, hospitals, post offices. The ones closer to the upper levels of the government, the FSB, the quarters of the Duma, the White House are obviously using high technology for their work, unfortunately none of it is available for the average public. There are two reasons for this, which are interconnected. The first one is the fact that average Russian citizen, let alone a pensioner, doesnt have the means to use the Internet nor the knowledge, so it is easier to use the telephone.
The above average Russian citizen doesnt use government services. He or she would go to a private hospital, send the children to a private school and have the lawyers deal with the rest. All of the mentioned above privately owned organisations have a WebPages and do give information on the Internet. The second reason is, the official charges for government services are extremely low. An example of such is: the cost of having a ?200 msq.
Apartment incl. water, gas, electricity, telephone (which is still an abonnent cost basis charge of 45 rubbles, or $ 1.5 per month and one can call unlimited amount of times and hours in Moscow, if one calls outside the charge is per minute but also at an unsubstantial price) and tax is ?900 rubbles, which is approximately $ 30. War veterans and households with more than three children pay only 15% of the cost. There are also other permissions for invalids and pensioners. The money paid officially is not sufficient to make use of the Internet, which is paid by WebPages Kb since the telephone connection is extremely cheap.
There is another side to government services being so cheap, they are scarce. The way its connected to Internet usage is the following. There is a law that unless the premises are registered for use for a company based for trade or other related purposes not more than one telephone line is allowed. Some new-based districts on the outskirts of Moscow are still waiting for the telephone lines to be installed. Mobile phones, which could also be used as a connection to the Internet, are also strongly regulated.
There is a law that mobile telephone usage for private purposes isnt allowed. Which means that a household cant have one, only a company or a firm can. Selling and buying isnt controlled, but if one is stopped by the police, which is almost inevitable since the explosions in September 99, and there is no official permission for the mobile phone, it is confiscated. In my attempt to write about the spread of the Internet in Russia I cannot come to a fair closing without mentioning the RUSLANet project. It is based and carried out by the St. Petersburg State Technical University.
The project is a future library system for the Northwest of Russia, so that libraries in these regions can have access to and from the world wide information resources. It was started two years ago, and involves careful planning, sponsor searching, lots of PR skills, as well as computer science knowledge. Today the project is at the following stage: the OPAC (which supports multi user access for any access level simultaneously) has been realised, fulltext databases, hierarchy of WBs, WWW server, search means for Internet clients. This is only the first step in the whole project. The second phase is about the development of practical interlibrary communications and dispersal of the developed and creates greater availability of the service to numerous libraries in the region. This project is going to bring incredible advantages to the scholars of that region. The boundaries of access are going to step back if not disappear all together.
This project is going to allow libraries to go on the net without Internet direct connection. Which is going to be done through the master server. The RUSLANet project is going to eliminate some of the difficulties I have mentioned before in this paper. This network is going to allow Internet to be used not only for entertainment or commercial purposes, but for educational purposes too, like it is being used in the west. Even though Russia doesnt use all of the advantages of the web, the country is known for its speedy decisions and changes.
We were struggling for almost seventy-five years and look, our kids are also eating Kelloggs Corn Flakes for breakfast, just like in the west. Who knows, maybe give us another seventy-five years and we can order pizza through the Internet, just like in the west. Unfortunately the majority of the population falls into the average category, so the government has to look out for them. Now with the new economical programmes, may be Russia will be able to finally get out of the poverty. With the rise of the general living standards, there will also be a rise in modern technology usage.
Maybe that will be the time when Internet users will prefer to use a Russian web browser, because it is more advanced, and will base their email on the Russian net, who knows? Works cited. www.aport.ru AIF Liubov. Moscow, 2000: vol. 3: pg. 9. www.mumiitroll.ru www.gorussia.about.com Plemnek A., Sokolova N., RUSLAnet a New Generation Library System Project in Russia, The Electronic Library, Vol.14, No.
4, August 1996. Plemnek A, Current and Perspective Tasks of the Open Library Systems Center, Transactions of SPSTU, No. 1, 1996. www.au.ru Bibliography Works cited. www.aport.ru AIF Liubov. Moscow, 2000: vol.
3: pg. 9. www.mumiitroll.ru www.gorussia.about.com Plemnek A., Sokolova N., RUSLAnet a New Generation Library System Project in Russia, The Electronic Library, Vol.14, No. 4, August 1996. Plemnek A, Current and Perspective Tasks of the Open Library Systems Center, Transactions of SPSTU, No. 1, 1996. www.au.ru Technology Essays.