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Iran orders bandwidth expansion to boost internet speed

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s telecoms minister Issa Zarepour

Iran’s telecoms minister says he has ordered an increase in the internet bandwidth used in the country amid complaints by users about low internet speed and reports showing that demand for online services has increased with a new wave of the coroanvirus pandemic.

Issa Zarepour said on Wednesday that the bandwidth assigned to the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) had expanded by 300 gigabits per second (Gbps).

“I think (users) will witness the results of this increase in capacity with an improvement in the quality of internet in the coming days,” Zarepour said.

The TCI controls Iran’s first mobile operator the MCI. The company provides services to millions of users across the country through fixed and mobile broadband.

Zarepour’s comments come amid reports suggesting that internet has gone slow in Iran with users complaining about poor quality of services when using social media platforms like Instagram.

The minister rejected claims that the government had deliberately lowered the speed of internet in preparation for a parliament bill that could impose restrictions on users’ access to foreign-based services.

He blamed technical issues reported in some Iranian provinces as well as rising demand for online services for lower internet speed in recent days.

“The disruptions have been technical and were not related to the ratification of any bill,” Zarepour was quoted by the official IRNA agency.

Figures by the Iranian telecoms regulatory authority shows Iran’s international bandwidth capacity had reached 4,309 Gbps in the year to March 2020, up from only 82 Gbps in 2013.

Zarepour said international bandwidth had increased by 20% since the incumbent Iranian administration took office in early August.

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