Minister of Communications: Instead of confronting the telecommunications, we will interact with them to remove the monopoly
Whenever there is a slow pace of internet speed and low quality internet, one of the problems of telecommunication is introduced which is the main cause of underdevelopment of fixed internet in the country by creating monopoly in network infrastructure. The Eleventh and Twelfth Governments devised various programs to interact with telecommunications; But in the final months of the presidency of Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Minister of Communications and Information Technology in June 1400, he announced on Twitter:
After three years of follow-up, the government approved a bill to “reclaim channels, ducts, and telecommunication basins from Iran Telecommunication.” This will remove the major barrier to home internet development.
According to Jahromi at the time, the bill must also be approved by parliament, and if approved, the channels will be made available to the Infrastructure Telecommunications Company through which it will be made available to private companies to develop a fixed Internet.
Jahromi’s news also had opponents in parliament at the time, including Reza Taghipour, a member of parliament who said that a bill was not needed to lift the monopoly on telecommunications, and that if the company regulated telecommunications, the company would no longer need a duct withdrawal bill. It is not a pond.
Not all problems should be blamed on telecommunications
Now, six months after the news broke, Issa Zarehpour, the 13th government’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, announced in response to Zomit that the bill had been returned to the Ministry of Communications for review, and that the bill was still in parliament. Speaking at his first press conference, he stressed that the government had not requested the return of the bill at all. Zarehpour explained to Zomit in this regard:
We are looking for a bill; But the bill may not be enforceable in this way because the reclaiming of canals and ducts is a legal issue that may not be resolved if we enter this space. We have an alternative proposal, which is that the 1401 budget bill states that all agencies should share the resources at their disposal with the Ministry of Communications to develop a national information network. This proposal is also being considered by the Industries Commission.
Zarepour announces that in addition to this proposal to replace the bill of the twelfth government, we have proposed that the cables, ducts, channels and all that are available to the telecommunication network be provided to the private sector at a tariff announced by the Radio Regulatory Authority.
Zarehpour believes that the telecommunication company has many problems and if we want to blame all the problems on the Iran Telecommunication Company, it is not fair. “In any case, in the last ten years, the telecommunications company could have played a key role in the development of the fixed Internet, but this has not happened,” he added. He continued: “Part of this problem must be attributed to Iran Telecommunication Company, which must undergo fundamental and key changes in its structure in order to solve those problems. Part of the problem is what the government should have done, which it has not done.”
According to him, fixed telephone tariffs, network maintenance, etc. have not changed for ten years; This is despite the fact that in these 10 years, the country has had 30-fold inflation and the dollar exchange rate has risen sharply.
Interaction of the Thirteenth Government with Telecommunications
Zarehpour stressed that it is not reasonable to expect development from a company that has not changed its tariffs in the past 10 years despite economic problems and its revenues have remained almost constant. He said in this regard:
The more we put pressure on this company, the more it leads to confrontation than interaction. In the 13th government, we seek to solve the problems of the telecommunications company through interaction. Iran Telecommunication is a national asset and we seek to activate this national asset in order to provide services. However, reaching this point has requirements that we are pursuing. Of course, this does not mean that the telecommunications company wants to continue in the same way as it has so far.
Zarehpour stated that they are not waiting for the telecommunications company to solve its problems until the development of the national fiber optic project takes place. According to him, there must be other solutions that return the competition to the field of fiber optics.
As Zarehpour explains, the first step to solve this problem is being taken by the government. “We are making the necessary arrangements to reform the tariffs so that telecommunications can breathe,” he told Zomit. “Telecommunications is facing many problems, and if serious measures are not taken, there may be more serious problems for it and the country in developing communication.” He also instructed the regulator in this meeting that the quality of communications of different operators must be reported to the people so that everything is transparent.
While Zarepour talks about showing the quality of the network to users, in recent years, the Ministry of Communications has set up various systems to display the quality of operators, including Netimeter Plus. It is not clear whether the new project will be launched at the request of the Minister of Communications.