One of the mThe Internet-caf�s, which have been recently launched with grand openings, are being closed down in Turkmenistanain reasons is that Turkmentelecom fails to ensure the appropriate transmission speed.
Since February last year, 15 Internet-caf�s have been opened across the country, but the hourly rate of 90,000 manats scared away many visitors. Last August the fees dropped down to 60,000 manats and recently the hourly rate of Internet access went down to 30,000 manats, which helped to attract new visitors to the Internet-caf�s. However, at the same time, a decrease in the Internet fees resulted in deteriorating the quality of Internet access and slowing down the connection speed.
This led to the closure of one of the two Internet-caf�s in the city of Dashoguz. This caf� was located on the premises of Uzboy hotel. The visitors were complaining about the low speed connection.
In the meantime, the only Internet-caf� is operating in the entire Dashoguz, the administrative centre of the country's northern province. It is located in the building of the Central Postal and Communication Centre with only 5 computers available. One computer is always occupied by a female operator, and another computer is permanently out of order. Some 3 to 5 people usually line up to use three remaining computers. Yet, the queue is formed not because there are too many people willing to use the Internet, but due to very low connection speed.
"We used to spend 10-15 minutes to send a couple of e-mail messages or check the mail boxes and now it takes over an hour" - complain the visitors to this Internet caf�. Yet, they have no choice.
This Internet-caf� is opened only on the working days from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. and it is closed on Sundays and during public holidays. In the morning hours the connection errors are quite frequent.
Only those visitors who attend the Internet-caf� for the first time are requested to show their passports whereas regular visitors are not asked to present IDs as their personal data has been already filed in the register.
Virtually all web sites, which post critical publications on Turkmenistan, are blocked for access. According to the witnesses, the access to such websites is denied even from the computers at the Resource and Information Centres, launched under the auspices of various foreign embassies and international organizations.