Russian fixed line and broadband operator Comstar UTS has announced that it has soft launched a fibre-optic backbone network connecting Moscow and Rostov-on-Don. The construction of the 1,350km cable began in early 2008. The network passes through Tula, Lipetsk, Voronezh, Kamensk-Shakhtinsk, Shakhty and Novocherkassk on its way to Rostov-on-Don. Sergey Pridantsev, president and CEO of Comstar UTS, sees the soft launch of the backbone network as a milestone in the implementation of their transport network development program, which will connect the company’s regional holdings and reduce transport costs. Pridantsev said: ‘Our reduced dependence on the large backbone network operators lending us their networks will enable us to decrease the costs of traffic transmission and, through that, reduce the service costs for our regional subscribers.’ On 11 August CommsUpdate reported that Comstar had completed the first stage of its corporate restructuring, consolidating its regional holdings into ‘Comstar-Regions’. Comstar-Regions comprises branches in the Central, North-West, Southern, Volga, Ural and Siberian federal districts, with corresponding centres in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen.
Meanwhile Russian watchdog Rosvyaz has announced that it will raise the maximum infrastructure access tariff for Comstar-owned Moscow City Telephone Network (MGTS) following the recent completion of a fibre backbone support ring in the city. The maximum tariff will rise by 17% from 1 September.