From the first days of independence Uzbekistan has paid great attention to the comprehensive development of information and communication technologies and their wide application in all spheres of life of state and society.
Over a short period the authorities created the legal framework conducive to further formation and progress of market of IT-technologies.
In particular, in 1992 the Law "On telecommunications" was adopted, which established general principles of progressive promotion of the industry. Issues of ICT legal regulation received further development in the Law "On information" dated December 11, 2003. President's Resolutions "On measures for further implementation and development of modern information and communication technologies" dated March 21, 2012 and "On further development of computerization and introduction of information and communication technologies" dated May 30, 2002, became important documents in this direction.
At present the Complex program of development of National information and communication system of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2013-2020 is being implemented. This program was approved by President's Resolution dated June 27, 2013.
Making a statement at enlarged meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the socio-economic development in 2015 and the most important priorities of economic program for 2016, President Islam Karimov noted that in today's conditions in the era of Internet and electronics, the widespread introduction of information and communication technologies in the fields of economy, radical acceleration of creation of system "Electronic government" are of priority significance. As the head of our state underlined, development of ICT has a direct impact on the level of competitiveness of the country, allows you to collect and summarize vast amounts of information, offers great opportunities for management at strategic level.
The task of regular improving of the governance, strengthening the capacity of IT-industry was entrusted to the Ministry for development of information technologies and communications, created by the Resolution of the Head of our state dated February 4, 2015. In addition, since 2002 a Centre for development and introduction of computer and information technologies UZINFOCOM operates, which assists in the development and implementation of national programs of computerization and introduction of ICT in all sectors of public administration, economic and social spheres.
Over the past years, the country carried out systematic work on development of Internet, mobile communications and other areas, on formation of high-tech base of modernization of national economy.
The basis for development of ICT in Uzbekistan is the telecommunications infrastructure.
The current stage of development of telecommunications technologies, networks and communication infrastructure of the country is characterized by expansion of fixed and mobile broadband access, increase of switching centers for data transfer and voice traffic, modernization of trunk lines, as well as creation of infrastructure for development of multimedia services.
Over the past 20 years in many regions of the country more than 2,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables have been laid. They are designed for broadband access to modern technology and provision of converged services such as video telephony, high-speed Internet, watching HDTV-channels and others. Due to the measures taken in 2015, the overall rate of use of international information networks increased by 42.3% compared to 2014 and amounted to 15.5 Gb/s.
Today, all mobile operators operating in our country, consistently introduce the fourth generation network 4G LTE, which allows to handle a large volume of information on Internet quickly and efficiently, download and view video streaming and high-quality photos, use online applications in education purposes and for business. All of these technologies enable Internet users in Uzbekistan to expand their usual ability to work with ICT.
In 2014-2015 Program of development of broadband access networks on Wi-Fi technology has been implemented successfully in the Republic of Uzbekistan. As a result of comprehensive measures at airports, railway stations, places of frequent-stay travelers, parks, shopping malls and other public places of the capital and each administrative center of republic Wi-Fi points have been created.
The high development rates of national Internet segment should be separately noted. Uzbekistan has 10.2 million web users. According to UZINFOCOM center, in January 2016 the number of websites in the UZ zone exceeded 25 thousand, while growth totaled more than 30% compared to same period of last year.
The use of ICT and software products in the management and production processes plays a major role in the development of sectors of the economy and the domestic industry. For instance, in 2014-2015 in the framework of a special state program 86 projects have been realized in order to introduce information systems in large joint-stock companies, associations and organizations totaling more than 330 billion soums.
Particular attention is paid to development of national market of software products.
In order to stimulate domestic programmers the National register of software developers has been created, which already included 69 companies. A directory of software manufacturers Software.uz has been developed that provides necessary information to citizens and businesses.
According to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On measures to further strengthen the incentives of domestic software developers" dated September 20, 2013 new benefits and preferences for members of software industry were introduced. Thus, they are exempt from customs duties for imported equipment for their own use, components, parts, technical documentation and software until January 1, 2017.
It is known that interactive public services are of particular importance in protection of human rights and freedoms, saving time and expenditures for obtaining necessary information and services.
A consistent work on formation of "Electronic government" is carried out in the country. The activity of the Governmental portal of the Republic of Uzbekistan (gov.uz) and the The single portal of interactive state services (SPISS), located on the Internet at my.gov.uz, has been established.
Functional of SPISS expands dynamically, 235 kinds of interactive services are being rendered through it. Over the past five years this system received in total more than 200 thousand electronic applications of citizens and businessmen. Making an online appointment with the heads of government agencies, receipt of information on their activities, various inquiries and sending requests became popular. In January 2015, the portal has launched a new system for discussion of draft legal acts related to business activities, and evaluation of existing documents. To date, 80 draft laws have been discussed through this system, 9 of them have been improved taking into account the opinions of citizens. At this time, the discussion of more than 20 legal acts continues.
Information system E-Sud for electronic proceedings is functioning effectively since 2004. Through its implementation, procedures such as keeping registration books, document management within court, direction of judicial notifications and procedural acts, familiarization of sides with case are completely automated now.
All educational institutions of the republic are connected to ZiyoNET network, which is functioning since 2005.
In the library of portal, which was updated in 2014, has more than 75 thousand units of informative-educational resources, including textbooks, dissertations, research papers and others.
As part of implementation of resolution of Head of our state "On measures on further improvement of foreign language learning system" dated December 10, 2012, "Foreign Languages" section has been created on ZiyoNET, which includes over four thousand materials such as textbooks, interactive lessons, games, relevant video and audio.
The country regularly hosts major events dedicated to the development of hi-tech industry.
In particular, Week of information and communication technologies ICTWeek Uzbekistan is being held since 2004. Traditionally it is opened with national exhibition of information technologies ICTExpo, which takes place once in two cities - Tashkent and Samarkand. The exhibition presents existing and future forms of ICT-based services, oriented to business community and authorities, and general population. Among the important events of the week - The Forum for Information and Communication Technologies ICTForum, wh ere representatives of leading companies, industry experts and foreign experts discuss state and prospects of progress in this sphere.
As part of the week conferences BestSoft Uzbekistan are also being held, during which they demonstrate the latest achievements of software developers, and e-Government Uzbekistan dedicated to the strategic objectives in the field of "e-government", results of implemented projects, exchange of experience and ideas in this direction.
Training of personnel in the development of ICT sector is topical.
Currently, major domestic centers of integration of education, science and industry - Tashkent State Technical University (TSTU) and Tashkent University of Information Technologies (TUIT) - train specialists in technical direction and for IT sector. In 2013, TUIT opened two new master's direction - management of the system "Electronic Government", and library science. At the same time, these universities carry out scientific research on the basis of active cooperation with leading industrial enterprises of the country.
From October 1, 2014 the branch of the prestigious South Korean Inha University began its activity in Tashkent. Professionals in areas such as computer and software engineering, computer network engineering are trained here.
Thus, the domestic IT-industry is developing successfully, joint ventures are being created, new software projects are being developed and implemented, Internet is gaining more space. Ongoing consistent measures in this direction contribute to further development of information society in Uzbekistan and its integration into the global information space.
Jahon Information Agency