Svyazinvest subsidiary Center Telecom says it plans to cut 16,000 jobs over the next five years as it looks to lower costs. The firm has already cut staff by half since 2003, Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile the telco, which is active in 17 regions of central Russia covering more than one fifth of the country’s population, says it intends to ramp up its broadband internet business. Chief Executive Officer Vaagn Martirosyan says: ‘By the end of this year, we want to have 735,000 broadband subscribers. It’s a very difficult plan, but I think it is realistic.’ Center Telecom, one of seven mega-regional subsidiaries of the state-owned telecoms holding firm Svyazinvest, currently has around 6.65 million wireline customers and 380,000 broadband subscribers. Last year’s investment of RUB5.3 billion (USD207 million) will be almost tripled to RUB15.8 billion by 2012, the company says.