Telecommunications in Georgia (country)
Telecommunications in Georgia include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.
Radio and television
- Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 12, shortwave 4 (1998).
- Radios: 3.02 million (1997).
- Television broadcast stations: 25 (plus repeaters) (2011).
- Televisions: 2.57 million (1997).
- Calling code: +995
- Main lines: 830,222 lines in use (2009).
- Mobile cellular: 3.1 million lines (2009).
There are three cellular telephone networks of GSM 900 and 1800 standard and two UMTS 2100 standard: MagtiCom LTD, Geocell LTD, and Mobitel Georgia Beeline group. The cellular network market counts more than 3,000,000 registered customers in total (the commercially active number is not known). Coverage extends to over 98% of the populated territory as of 2010; In urban areas there are 20 telephones per 100 people and in rural areas 4 telephones per 100 people. Fiber-optic lines connect the major cities and Georgia and Bulgaria are connected with fiber-optic line between Poti and Varna (Bulgaria).
- Internet Service Providers: at least 10 ISPs, with most of them ADSL/DSL/Cable services (2003).
- Top-level domain: .ge
Internet censorship and surveillance
Listed as engaged in selective Internet filtering in the political and conflict/security areas and as no evidence of filtering in the social and Internet tools areas by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) in November 2010.
Access to Internet content in Georgia is largely unrestricted as the legal constitutional framework, developed after the 2003 Rose Revolution, established a series of provisions that should, in theory, curtail any attempts by the state to censor the Internet. At the same time, these legal instruments have not been sufficient to prevent limited filtering on corporate and educational networks. Georgia’s dependence on international connectivity makes it vulnerable to upstream filtering, evident in the March 2008 blocking of YouTube by Turk Telecom.
On March 14, 2016, access to YouTube was restricted nationwide. This restriction of access was to presumably prevent Georgian citizens from accessing a video which threatened a number of journalists and opposition figures with the exposure of covertly recorded video tapes of sex acts. YouTube access went down throughout Georgia until the threatening video was removed from the internet.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
- Annual Report (2009), Georgian National Agency of Communications.
- "ONI Country Profile: Georgia", OpenNet Initiative, November 2010
- "Politicians, Journalist Threatened with Sex Tape Leak"
- Georgian National Communications Commission, website.
- Sidorenko, Alexey, "Internet, Society and Democracy in Georgia", in Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 15.
- Robakidze, Nino, "Georgia: Immature Media", in Caucasus Analytical Digest No. 25.