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Rural Internet Connectivity Expanding

High-speed internet has been provided to more than 27,700 villages across Iran.High-speed internet has been provided to more than 27,700 villages across Iran.

High-speed internet has been provided to more than 27,700 villages across Iran, office of the deputy for planning and coordination at the Telecoms Ministry said in a report. Access to high-speed internet coverage in villages has made significant progress over the past three years, considering that only 4,822 villages had access to high-speed internet during the calendar year 1393 (March 2014-15), IANA reported. The ministry said 62,624 villages were connected to the mobile phone network up until June and 54,109 villages had landlines.

Equipping villages with high-speed internet (bandwidth of 512 kbps and above) is part of the Rouhani administration's plans to expand internet coverage and telecom services to remote areas in a bid to improve local economies and create jobs.

It is widely believed that access to internet can bring about a better lifestyle for the rural folks by helping them gain insight into the latest farming methods and irrigation systems, help local businesses income and create tourism opportunities.

The roadmap for the development of electronic services in rural and under-developed areas was introduced by the Telecoms Ministry in 2016, which is in line with the concept of Universal Service Obligations (USO) to ensure that a baseline level of services is provided to every resident.

However, so far, efforts have not produced the results the government expected. Telecoms Minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, had earlier noted that high cost of equipment and internet tariffs are the main reason village-residents have not shown much enthusiasm about the new developments. Based on the latest National Population and Housing Census conducted in 2016, Out of the nearly 80 million Iranians, 20,730,625 people or 6,070,547 households live in rural areas. 

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