Cost of Internet use to be reduced in Iran: TCI Chief


Tehran, Oct 10, IRNA -- Managing Director of Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) Alireza Bahrampour said here Wednesday that beginning late October, by using fiber optics network, in addition to higher speed for transmission of data, and improved quality and capacity, the cost Internet use will be reduced.

Speaking at signing ceremonies of the fiber optic network with the `Flag Company,' he added that currently the seabed fiber optics cable which connect 14 countries from Japan to Britain is in operation, adding that the next phase of the project will connect four continents in March 2002.

On the ways of linking Iran with the huge global network, he added that domestically, Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, and the ports of Bandar Abbas and Jask on the Persian Gulf have been connected with a 20,000 km cable and is undergoing its final tests.

He added that Iran has also been connected to the system in Central Asian states 'which will fetch significant hard currency earning for the country'.

Earlier in June, MP from Tehran Majid Ansari defended Iranian youth's right to access Internet, saying they were entitled to keep abreast of world developments.

"One cannot even deny access to Internet to the young people who live in the remotest village ..., since they want to know what is going on around the world," Ansari added.

Also, at the time Iran's telecommunications ministry disclaimed a newspaper report that it had prohibited adolescents from going to Internet cafes. It said the ruling only disallowed Iranians under 18 from opening cyber-cafes.

On May 13, Hambastegi newspaper had reported that the police had closed around 400 cyber-cafes across Tehran. The police immediately denied the report saying they had shut only 15 cafes because they did not have a license.

The authorities had demanded that all Internet cafes obtain a proper work permit and Internet license, and issued warnings to around 250 of them. Internet cafes have sprung up across Tehran and other major cities over the past few years.

An official at the telecommunication ministry recently placed the number of Iranian subscribers, counting both Internet cafes and private users at over 300,000, more than double the figure of 120,000 a year ago.

But, he put the number of Internet cafes at around 500, which is a significant drop from the previous estimate of 1,200.