This week the Minister of ICT, Azari Jahromi, appeared as a guest on one of the most popular TV shows in Iran called Dorehami, and discussed some of the ministry’s accomplishments and challenges during his headship. These challenges mostly included Internet accessibility, censorship and the overall atmosphere in the cyberspace.
1242 Cities in Iran Have Access to Mobile Internet
The Minister mentioned that currently, 1242 cities have access to mobile internet. “56% of the cities were able to use the 4G internet as of the previous July, which from this February (Fajr Decade) expanded to the whole country and everyone can use 3G and 4G internet across the country at the moment.”
He also mentioned that one of the main problems of cell phone reception in the country is our people’s prevention to install cell phone towers due to their false mentality regarding its harmfulness.
He added that our landline’s internet condition is worse than our mobile internet. “Currently 30% of our landlines are not capable of providing internet services with the speed above 2Mbps because of low-quality cables that aren’t made of fiberglass.”
Internet Censorship Is Not in Our Hands
Mr. Jahromi stated that the matter of censorship is not up to his ministry, however the president has repeatedly demanded them to provide free access of information to the people by creating an ecosystem for the cyberspace.
He further explained that the cyberspace is defined in multiple layers in terms of accessibility, and therefore the content which children are allowed to access would certainly be different from others. He added that the space for these content are quite the same in our country, and therefore we need to organize an ecosystem that defines different levels of accessibility to its users.
He emphasized that internet censorship should not always be our only solution and the process of creating the ecosystem will be presented soon.
Telegram Has Become a Media in Our Country
The Minister stated that our cyberspace has intermingled with political matters. “In today’s world, the atmosphere of messengers are completely different from the atmosphere of media and people use these apps such as Whatsapp for ordinary conversations. However in our country Telegram has become a media.”
As the youngest minister in Rouhani’s cabinet, Mr. Jahromi concluded that we should trust our youth more and more and leave the creative matters in their hand for a better future.