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Putin’s idea to install webcams at polling stations to cost RUR13 bln

January 17, 2012, 8:25 UTC+3

Over 2,000 teams will be engaged to install web cameras at over than 90,000 polling stations

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MOSCOW, January 17 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister Igor Shchegolev said that over 13 billion roubles will be spent to translate into reality the prime minister’s initiative to install web cameras at the country’s polling stations.

Last December in his TV appearance Vladimir Putin put forward this idea to ensure transparent and fair election due on March 4, 2012.

“We’ve agreed with the government that 13 billion roubles will be allocated from the federal budget to implement this project,” Shchegolev was cited on Tuesday by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily as saying.

“The sum is big, but it will not cover all expenses. The rest will be covered by Rostelecom, the national operator where the government owns a stake, that together with us implements this project on the basis of the business-government partnership,” he said.

“The contracts with major suppliers of equipment have already been signed,” Shchegolev said adding that seven large scale planes were hired to deliver the equipment.

“There is also an agreement with the federal customs service that these cargoes will be carried on a priority basis,” the minister said.

Over 2,000 teams will be engaged to install web cameras at over than 90,000 polling stations.

Shchegolev noted that 50 days ahead of the presidential election the ministry would drastically upgrade many elements of the Russian segment of the Internet to keep it from collapsing.

“Now we proceed from the assumption that the web can survive some 25 million browsers per day. At the same time it can be visited by 1.2 million users, 60,000 of them should have an opportunity to see live broadcasting from one polling station,” he said. “These are very good parameters. It seems to me that if all our ideas are translated into life, the web will operate normally and steadily.”

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