Experts consider Kazakstan's telecommunications facilities inadequate
to support the type of economic expansion sought in the mid-1990s.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is the only provider
of telecommunications services; its responsibilities include management
and regulation of all aspects of the republic's telephone, telex,
telegraph, data communications, radio, television, and postal
In 1994 only seventeen of every 100 people in urban areas and
7.6 of every 100 people in rural areas had telephones. These figures
were above average for Central Asia but lower than those for other
CIS countries. Of the republic's total of about 2.2 million telephones,
184,000 were located in Almaty. Current equipment is utilized
at a rate of 98 percent, leaving no room for expansion or new
subscribers, although in 1992 the waiting list had about 1 million
Sixty breakdowns per 100 telephone lines occur annually, a very
high rate. Because much of Kazakstan's telephone equipment, most
of which came from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, is obsolete,
spare parts are scarce. In 1992 only 8 percent of exchanges used
fiber-optic and digital equipment. International connections go
through Moscow and via satellite links to Australia and Israel.
In 1992 a total of 100 channels connected with countries outside
the CIS, and 3,000 channels connected with CIS countries.
In 1994 there were about 4.75 million televisions and 10.17
million radios in Kazakstan. Landlines and microwave carry radio
broadcasts from other CIS republics and China; the International
Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) and the Russian
Orbita satellite system provide satellite transmission of television
broadcasts from other countries, and the Moscow gateway switch
sends international radio broadcasts through eight telecommunications
circuits. With Turkish aid, a new satellite ground station went
into operation at Almaty in 1992.
Radio and television broadcasting is the exclusive domain of
the Kazakstan State Radio and Television Company. In 1995 the
broadcasting system included three national and thirteen regional
radio programs broadcast over fifty-eight stations, an irregular
Moscow relay of the Voice of Russia and Radio Netherlands, Radio
Almaty (a foreign broadcast service offering English, German,
Kazak, and Russian programming), one domestic television channel
available through eight regional stations, and relays of two Russian
channels and Kyrgyz and Turkish programming in Almaty.
Data as of March 1996