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This month, the Perspective Technologies Agency has completed the first stage of its ambitious project to eventually provide Muscovites, Moscow businesses and state-owned organisations with an advanced digital telecommunications network. The first stage included creation of a fibre optic loop along the Moscow Garden Ring. During the next phases, Perspective Technologies will spread the network coverage to all of the Moscow districts. A separate link will connect the Moscow network with a similar system is scheduled for creation in Kaliningrad, Mytischi and some other cities of the Moscow region. Sergey Sournov, general director of Perspective Technologies, says they have already reached such an agreement with the regional authorities. The Moscow network will consist of five dedicated data transmission networks based on ISO 802.5 wide area networks and capable of supporting 16Mbps each. One of the networks will be used by businesses, one by the Moscow Police department, one by the Municipal Department, and two by banks. The cable television portion of the network will offer eight television channels, transmitted from the Ostankino television centre to over 20 local studios from where they will be distributed through co-axial cable. Initially, the cable television portion had been scheduled for creation first. However, according to Sournov, the financial scheme which they use forced them to review the priorities. So far, the Agency has completed the ring consisting of 36 fibres. Eight of them are reserved for cable television, and the rest will be used for data transmission and sometimes telephony. Though it is not the aim of Perspective Technologies to offer telephone services, the company will sometimes provide communications between those telephone exchanges which are now interconnected by the most outdated cables. The first customers, the Moscow Police Department, ITAR TASS news agency, the Central Clearing Centre of the Central Bank have recently gone on line. According to Mr Sournov, by the third quarter of this year, eight offices of Sberbank will also be brought into the system. In the Moscow region, the Agency plans to create a network connecting local police departments and the public telephone network. The first digital telephone exchange for 2,000 users is scheduled for installation in Kaliningrad soon. The Moscow and regional networks will be linked through a line based on the switching equipment supplied by Philips Electronics NV.

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