Iran Rolls Out Its Own Internet Service

Iran Rolls Out Its Own Internet Service ... 30/08/2016 Internet-IT

Keywords:#Hassan_Rouhani, #IRNA, #Internet, #Iran, #Iranian, #Mahmoud_Vaezi,, #Pokemon, #Rouhani, #Tasnim, #Tehran, #VPN

By Tom Brant
August 29, 2016 02:23pm EST
It's described as "low cost" and "high speed," but will also be full of censorship.
After multiple attempts to regulate its citizens' access to the Internet to mixed results, Iran's government is trying a different approach: offer low-cost, high-speed (and filtered) Internet directly to the public.
In other words, the government is starting its own ISP. It took an early step towards that goal over the weekend, when it launched the first phase of what the pro-government Tasnim news agency called Iran's "national information network" in a ceremony in Tehran.
Tasnim reported that the new Internet service will be up to 60 times faster than current connectivity options in Iran, and will be more secure against potential cyber attacks. Iran's communication minister Mahmoud Vaezi said the network would have "high quality, high speed" and "low costs," according to the official IRNA news agency.
It will also be highly censored and apparently limited to only displaying websites hosted in Iran. The first stage of the project provides access only to government Web pages. The second phase, scheduled to go online in February, will add "domestic video services" and business IT infrastructure like data centers, according to the Mehr news agency. The final stage will bring more "internal broadband" services.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said the government-owned network "can be regarded as one of the key components of the country's independence," according to Tasnim. "If people feel they have easy access to a national, reliable, stable, and safe (information) network, they will play a more effective role in the process of the country's development."
That the government's description of its Internet service sounds suspiciously like propaganda is not entirely surprising: Iran has banned everything from encrypted websites to messaging services to Pokemon Go in an attempt to ensure its citizens don't have access to content it deems objectionable. But crafty Iranians have found multiple ways around the blocks, from VPN services to a new app that uses satellite TV signals to bypass the firewall.
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