Approach

As mentioned above, in parallel with building TASIM’s business model at the first stage, broader political and end-user support will be needed at second and third stages in order to maximize the development impact of the project and make EurACA a UN initiative. Implementation of TASIM will involve consultations with many different stakeholders across the region. The UN system organizations are well placed to provide the required outreach and expertise, which is beyond the ability and mandate of commercial operators.

Strategically, the project will be implemented in three major stages (see figure below).

At the first stage (2013-14), key regional countries and operators will build major transit infrastructure links connecting the East and the West into one whole. This transit infrastructure will allow TASIM to become a commercially viable object and address the rapidly growing market for new routes of the international internet traffic. Main end-users will be identified and the underlying principles for public-private partnerships will be discussed and formalized.

At the second stage (2014-14), it is expected to leverage the transit infrastructure to provide affordable broadband connectivity to land-locked countries of central Eurasia, including Afghanistan and Central Asia. New fiber-optic routes can be developed in coordination with national telecommunication infrastructure development plans, while the existing routes can be upgraded technologically to integrate them into the new network. Content creators will be mobilized and start generating content to increase traffic transmission. The EurACA Connectivity Centre will be established to coordinate TASIM and EurACA acitvities

The third stage (2015 onwards) will address the challenge of deploying new e-government services – including cross-border ones, for example, in trade and commerce – and media content over the TASIM network. A special attention will be made to identify target audiences of end-users and service providers to meet their needs. An alliance of key target groups shall be formed in each participating country to create a TASIM’s inter-regional network of partners. It is expected, for example, that the country alliances will comprise national Chambers of Commerce, IT/Telecom associations, unions of entrepreneurs, content providers and media organizations to facilitate trade and development within the Eurasian region (see Figure below).