For years Iranians had no choice but to use home internet services with limited data allowance or they had to pay a hefty amount of money for an unlimited service. One of the promises of Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, the ICT Minister of Iran’s 12th administration was to change the Internet Service Providers’ policies toward end user’s home internet service plans.
Now, after over 100 days since Rouhani’s second term as Iran’s president, the ICT ministry has implemented new policies where users receive “unlimited data usage” on their home internet services with a fair use policy. According to the Communication Regulatory Authority of Iran, ISP’s are obliged to discontinue their limited home internet services and provide high-speed internet with more affordable prices. With the new plans, lowest internet speed for an ADSL service would be 512 Kbps for 12.5 thousand Tomans (4 USD) while users can receive services up to 16 Mbps for 80 thousand Tomans (20 USD). Households which have access to VDSL or fiber optic can also receive services up to 50 Mbps for a price of 300 thousand Tomans (75 USD).
Currently, Iranian ISPs are providing customized packages in regard to the new policies. If you take a look at each ISP’s prices, you would notice different “fair use policies” or data caps. Below you can see the new prices of Pars Online, one of the major internet service providers in the country which was recently acquired by HiWEB and made one of the biggest acquisitions in Iran’s internet service providers history.
|Monthly threshold with fair usage policy (Gigabyte)|
Each of the services mentioned above has a specific fair use policy. After a user passes the bandwidth cap, the internet service provider will begin to throttle the user’s internet access speed. After that, the user can buy data bundles to get back to its primary download and upload speed.
To incentives the customers, Iranian ISP’s are allocating high data caps for the content stored domestically. A few months ago, with the order of the Communication Regulatory Authority, Iranian ISP’s announced the names of 200 popular Iranian websites with reduced bandwidth tariffs up to 50 percent. Right now there are 500 websites on this list, however, many critics believe that it’s not fair for other Iranian websites which are not included in the list.
Although these prices and the “fair use policies” are far behind the international standards, we’re positive that these changes are a great step towards improving home internet services quality and availability in Iran.