As of the beginning of this year, all Internet traffic is required to pass through the infrastructure owned by the state-run operator Tojiktelecom.  The sides have not yet reached an agreement on prices.

All Internet traffic will pass through the infrastructure of the national operator Tojiktelecom, Tojiktelecom top manager Muzaffar Himmatov told reporters in Dushanbe on January 25.  

According to him, such rules operate in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. 

Himmatov refrained from commenting on prices of Internet traffic for Tajik Internet service providers (ISPs).

“Negotiations with them are under way.  We reached certain agreements but contracts have not yet been signed,” Tojiktelecom director noted.   

Recall, all this all dates back to a 2016 government decree requiring all internet data to be filtered through a largely hypothetical system known as the Unified Electronic Communications Switching Center, which is known by its Russian abbreviation EKTs.

The Tajik authorities established the Unified Electronic Communications Switching Center last year and required that all Internet and mobile communications traffic be run through the single state-owned telecoms provider, Tojiktelecom.  The Center centralizes all telephone and Internet communications with the aim of facilitating surveillance on the grounds of combatting terrorism and extremism.  It allows the government to have complete control over domestic communications without any safeguards.

The idea of creating a government-administered information gateway has been circulating since 2005.  The stated aim of the recurring initiative has been to prevent “illegal” communications that could undermine national security.