Breakup not possible
The situation with the Internet is as follows: one should pay for it right on time, but there is only likelihood that one will get it.
Irina Djioeva, the city of Tskhinval’s resident
This story has a classical reason. ‘Ostelecom’ company, which is part of the Russian communications giant – ‘Megaphone’, an absolute monopolist in South Ossetia, is the only company that provides Internet access and mobile communications.
The scheme for getting Internet in one’s apartment is amazing.
• One pays RUB 350 [approx.US$ 5] per gigabyte (or RUS450 [approx. US$6] for two gigabytes).
• Over the next month, one should check daily how many gigabytes are left.
• If one does not consume all gigabytes – ‘Ostelecom’ will take back everything that is left.
• If one consumes them all before the month is over – the Internet speed will sharply drop and it will be absolutely impossible to use it.
• To restore the Internet, one will have to pay RUB190 [about US$3],and that’s only a temporary measure, that will be enough just for 3-4 days. Six months ago, such speed extension amounted to RUB80 [about US$1.5].
All in all, up to RUB1,000 [about US$15] are actually spent on the Internet per month. Moreover, the Internet connection may be lost for hours several times a day.
It is hardly possible to break up with “Ostelecom’, not until several providers appear in South Ossetia. Many point to ‘Twingo’ provider in North Ossetia, which has rather good speed and the payment amounts to RUS495 per month, with no extra charges.
But even more everyone is hoping that SkyLink, a new provider, wil come to South Ossetia’s market. It is expected to provide high-speed mobile Internet access and beat down ‘Ostelecom”s prices.