Economy, Sci & Tech

18 New Internet Operators by Nov.

18 New Internet Operators by Nov. 18 New Internet Operators by Nov.

Diversity awaits Internet users as 18 new operators will be entering the market by November 2015, said the deputy minister of Communications and Information Technology.

These Internet service providers will be providing cable broadband services to fixed landline connections.

Six of the companies have received a license and the rest are rectifying their shareholding and investment issues to qualify for a license, Mehr News Agency quoted Ali Asghar Amidian as saying.

The licenses of companies providing Internet services has now expired after 10 years and the  Communication Regulatory Authority has passed new laws for cable broadband communication services.

Provided the ISPs abide by the regulations pertaining to infrastructure and satellite networks, receivers of the license can provide related Internet services without any technological restrictions.

Amidian noted that licensed companies will also be allowed to create optical fiber networks and offer related services.

These companies are required to expand their services to small towns.  In line with the policy to expand communication facilities nationwide, the companies will have to create 20,000 Internet ports outside provincial telecom switchboard centers annually.

For receiving a new license for Internet services, companies need 200 billion rials ($5.8 million at market exchange rate). These companies are required to meet other financial commitments as well such as giving 3% of their annual income to the government.

They will be subject to fines and notices, if they fail to observe the requirements of the license.

Amidian, who is also the head of the Communication Regulatory Authority, said the future of fourth generation Internet was also discussed.

"According to the enactment of the Communications Regulatory Authority's committee, although there is no restriction on the assignment of licenses to applicants supplying Internet services, there is no possibility of offering frequency bands to all companies for fourth generation high-speed cable communication," he said.

"The companies must form consortiums to be able to receive such permits."