Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology is determined to extend fiber optic networks to households and businesses around the country. Over 95% of the villages around the country are also getting access to high speed internet.
Fiber optic networks have become a standard and reliable solution for internet connectivity in the recent years. Although the implementation of this network needs hefty a budgets, the overall costs will drastically decrease in the long term comparing to copper cable networks. Copper cables were originally made to transmit voice calls with a limited bandwidth, hence the user might receive a poor internet service in some areas. Not to mention that many businesses and households are switching to Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) services which is best delivered on fiber optic networks. Security wise, tapping fiber optic cables is also much difficult comparing to copper cables.
The Iranian government has been giving more attention to develop a better infrastructure in order to provide better internet services to its citizens. In the recent years, the so-called “Fourth Operator” also known as Iranian Net took over Iran’s fiber optic network project but despite the pressures from the Ministry of Communications, the company hasn’t been able to deliver on its commitments yet. It’s been said that the reason behind the slow progress of this project is the lack of sufficient capital.
Back in October 2016, the word got out that MTN plans to acquire 49% of Iranian Net, the exact amount which this company owns from Irancell. Bagheri Chenari, CEO of the fourth operator had previously stated that this project would approximately need 5 billion Dollars to invest in. Although the situation with MTN is not clear, it’s been said that this nation-wide project has another foreign investor. Sinosure a Chinese export and credit insurance corporation has shown interest in Iranian Net and been approved by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance to invest in this project according to officials.
The 4-year monopoly contract of the fiber optic project was signed with a few key milestones for Iranian Net. During its second year of operation, Iranian Net was responsible for delivering 1 million ports, 3 million on the third year and a total of 6.870 million Fiber optic ports by the end of the eighth year. The monopoly was supposed to be revoked if Iranian Net did not meet its milestones, but the government decided to extend its license a couple of months after.
According to the CEO of the Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of Iran (TIC) the major concern of the foreign investors is the late return of investment of this project.
95% of the Villages in Iran Would Have Access to High Speed Internet
In other news, according to a recent statement by Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s Minister of Communications, by the end of the eleventh government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 95% of the villages in the country with over 20 households would have access to high speed internet.
According to Vaezi, since 3.5 years ago 27,000 villages have been connected to the internet while before Rouhani’s government non of the villages in the country had access to high speed internet.
This initiative would start a new era for the people in rural areas since it would enable them to sell their products online, work in long distance for companies which need less expensive workforce and so on.