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Iran’s Digital Divide
Sci & Tech

Iran’s Digital Divide

Iran's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has released a fresh set of data on the country's information and technology developments that show the capital Tehran and the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan as the best and worst provinces in terms of ICT development and connectivity respectively.
The data have been released by the bureau for technical and economic inspection, affiliated to the deputy for planning and strategic monitoring at the Telecoms Ministry, Mehr News Agency reported.  
The data show connectivity statistics for March 20, 2010, to December 20, 2015. Despite the stagnant state of the economy during the given period, Iran's ICT sector seems to have been the least affected during this time, as positive developments were seen in most provinces.
During a nine-month period ending December 20, 2015, the top five provinces in terms of technology development were Tehran, Semnan, Mazandaran, Yazd and Qom respectively. The least developed provinces, on the other hand, were Sistan-Baluchestan, North Khorasan and Lorestan.
During the nine-month period, the average score for the index in Iran was 5.03. At 7.37, Tehran scored 2.34 points above the national average and the least developed province, Sistan-Baluchestan, scored 2.28 point below average in terms of national indicators, including economic development.    
Unsurprisingly, the study on technology development, conducted over the past five and a half years, shows Tehran has been the top province consecutively.
  About the Score
The information and communication technology development index (IDI) is published by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union based on internationally agreed information and communication technologies indicators.
This makes the data a valuable tool for benchmarking the most important indicators for measuring the information society.
The IDI is a standard tool that governments, operators, development agencies, researchers and others can use to measure the digital divide and compare ICT performance within and across countries.
The ICT Development Index is based on 11 ICT indicators, grouped in three clusters: access, use and skills.
For measuring access, the number of people using mobile phone and landlines, Internet bandwidth, the number of households that have a computer is taken into account.
For measuring the next cluster, namely usage, a variety of areas are considered, such as whether or not each person uses the Interne, as well as the number of bandwidth registrants. For the third cluster, namely skills, the educational background of users is taken into account.  
The IDI index is studied in Iran to help optimize planning and provide the infrastructures for developing communications and information technology.
The data also provide close insight on the overall connectivity statistics across the country, which allows for provinces to be ranked in terms of connectivity.
The data are also crucial for strategic planning, future decision-making and investigating ICT growth and development in provinces.
The information released is based on data collected via Iran's Information and Technology Organization and the Communications Regulatory Authority.

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