Economy, Sci & Tech

Officials Defend National Information Network

Officials Defend National Information Network
Officials Defend National Information Network

On August 28, Iran officially launched the National Information Network. But its launching has raised questions among the concerned public while prompting officials to take a clear stance in regards to the issue.

The launch of the network, according to the CEO of the Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran (also known as Hamrah-e-Aval or MCI) has significantly enhanced users’ access to Internet and improved the quality and speed of services.

According to Vahid Sadoughi, the flow of information has enhanced since transmitted information is being divided in two categories, domestically transmitted data and data transmitted through the international network.

The official said that the tariff for domestically transmitted data is lower and therefore “the overall cost of information communicating services has decreased.”

“The national network will prompt operators to provide better services at competitive prices,” Sadoughi said.

 Noting that “latency, packet lost and PING has decreased significantly,” he added that subscribers can observe the recent changes using connection testing mobile applications.

Latency refers to a delay in packet delivery and packet loss is the failure of one or more transmitted packets to arrive at their destination. These can cause noticeable effects in all types of digital communications.

PING is a utility to determine whether a specific IP address is accessible. It works by sending a packet to the specified address and waiting for a reply.

  Freedom of Access

An issue of concern among the majority of citizens is the freedom of access to information.

Long before the launch of the network rumors were circulating in social media websites that the development might “be a scheme to restrict access” to international information networks.

First VP, Es’haq Jahangiri who addressed the issue at the official launching event asserted that “The National Information Network will not limit citizens’ access to information.”

“High-speed Internet and free information access might bear several threats, limiting citizens’ access; however, this is not the correct way to deal with the issue,” he remonstrated.

The government believes that alternatives such as “social and cultural development” are the way to detect and deter possible threats, he said.

After President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, the administration pledged to expand e-governing services. According to Jahangiri launching the national network is a turning point in this process.

The VP said that “$57 billion has been invested in this project and the state has provided 20% of the needed capital.”

The national network will be developed further in two upcoming phases. The second phase is expected to be launched in February 2017.