No one in the parliament is worried about intentional disruptions of the Internet

Today, the Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Parliament asked the minister about the weak performance of the Ministry of Communications in a public meeting. Mohammadreza Pourabrahimi said that things like the national document and the road map for the development of the digital economy, the commitment of operators to the law of maximum use of domestic production capacity and the development of communication infrastructure to enter the principle of digital economy transformation have not progressed as they should. In the field of infrastructure, he pointed to the state of communication indicators, the state of the Internet in villages, the state of the employees of the telecommunications company and the sacrificers, and said about the speed and slowness of the communication and the bad state of the Internet.

These questions came a day after the publication of statistics that show that Iran is the world’s champion of low-quality internet. Before the minister’s answer, Poura Brahimi mentioned the statistics of the progress of the projects in the previous government, and the minister of communications answered from this point about what the representative of Kerman considered to be the weak performance and said that if the development of the Internet in the villages was not as promised, it is because the previous government He had given false statistics about the progress of internet coverage in the village: “The government had previously announced the number of villages covered by the internet by 11% more than the reality, and this problem caused the project of connecting these villages to the national information network.”

In the following, he listed the achievements of this ministry in these two years: he said about the record of 6.5 terabits per second of internal traffic, about the use of internal platforms by people in the past year and a half, about the mechanisms used to bypass access to websites and sanctioned services provided, ping and delay reduction services for computer games, improvement of the national information network from 23% to 62%, children’s internet, connecting villages, increasing the share of the digital economy in the GDP from 6.4 to 7, and ranking 65th in internet speed in Between 190 countries. These answers convinced Pourabrahimi conditionally and by giving him a three-month opportunity.

Among his questions, the representative of the people of Kerman did not ask about restrictions and disturbances. He also did not pay attention to the fact that the intentional disruptions and widespread filtering that has caused Iran to have one of the slowest, most disturbed and limited internet in the world, all happened in the last two years.

Also, in these two years, when the Minister of Communications boasts of increasing the share of the digital economy and the use of internal platforms, many businesses are facing unprecedented crises due to intentional disruptions and the ministry’s lack of accountability regarding severe filtering.

The MP was satisfied with Zarepour’s answer that the speed of mobile internet has increased from 18 Mbps to 35 Mbps, and he did not mention that this statistic is from speedtest estimates, which is not a correct reference for measuring the speed that people experience from the internet. Because by default, Speedtest connects the user to the closest server in the same country and actually measures the speed of internal communications. In the statistics of all countries, the speed reported by Speedtest is 3 to 8 times the speed reported in other statistics such as Cloudflare and what people actually experience.

The head of the Economic Commission did not pay attention to the widespread and permanent disruptions that are applied to almost all IPs and websites around the world other than the white list, and he did not question the Minister of Communications about the fact that these disruptions have doubled the cost of the Internet for people.

It seems that the internet that ordinary people use is not the same internet that parliamentarians have who want to ask questions about the reason for these deliberate, widespread and permanent disruptions. Also, it seems that the recent report of the Tehran Electronic Commerce Association has not reached them. The report says that Infrastructure Communications Company, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Communications, sells internet to internet distribution companies at 60 times the price of internet in Europe and does not accept responsibility for disruptions and low internet speeds. The report concluded that even the country’s backwardness in the development of optical fiber is due to the severe stagnation of the digital economy due to widespread disruptions and restrictions.

This public hearing was finally another opportunity for the Ministry of Communications to defend its actions. In the end, the speaker of the parliament said: “God willing, according to the promise of the Minister of Communications, they will try to solve the problems related to the communication infrastructure.” And he also requested that the national information network should proceed with priority.

Photo source: Echo Iran

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