March 29, 2023

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Internet coverage in rural areas reaches 90%

TEHRAN – Internet coverage in the villages of more than 20 households in the country reached nearly 90 percent on February 19, the end of the eleventh month of the current Iranian calendar year.

The government’s effort is to improve the coverage and quality of the Internet in cities, and to provide the possibility for the rural areas to get high-speed and high-quality Internet as well, IRNA reported.

Recently, more than 900 villages were connected to the Internet, most of which had not any kind of access to the network.

Statistics say 3,500 villages are linked with minimum communication services and 4,000 villages are deprived of any internet-based services.

Currently, 26 percent of the country’s population lives in villages, around 39,000 villages have more than 20 households and 23,000 villages have less than 20 households.

Thus, more than 97 percent of the country’s rural population lives in villages with over 20,000 households.

Many efforts have been made over the past couple of years by the government to support villagers and slow down the trend of migration from rural areas to cities.

The internet penetration rate in Iran has exceeded 123 percent, according to the latest statistics of the Communications Regulatory Authority, published in January.

The data showed that the mobile internet penetration rate in the country has reached 109.27 percent, up by over 26 percent compared to figures reported in 2019.

Moreover, the number of Iranian mobile users reached nearly 135.890 million, according to the CRA which put the mobile phone penetration rate in the country at 161.67 percent.

The figures showed, however, that fixed broadband adoption in Iran had stalled at 14 percent with nearly 11.921 million customers having access to the Internet via those services.

This statistic shows that fixed broadband internet has grown by less than 2 percent compared to last year and mobile internet has experienced a growth of 10 percent. However, it can be said that the speed of mobile internet expansion is 5 times the speed of fixed internet.

The opposite is true in most countries, where fixed internet is growing faster.

Access to telecommunication services in rural areas of the country had improved over the period as the overall number of villages with access to communication services rose to 52,182, around 93 percent of all villages, while 47,837 villages had access to home landline services.

More than 4,500 rural development plans were inaugurated on the occasion of Government Week (August 24-30, 2022), Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said.

In the model of economic growth, villages are of great importance and the effort is to continuously identify and eliminate the weaknesses of the villages and strengthen them, he explained, IRIB reported.

Stating that the policy of returning to the village and reverse migration is not possible without development, he regretted that 90,000 rural settlements have been depopulated.

A total of 31 trillion rials (nearly $60 million) for the eradication of deprivation in rural areas was approved by the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) in the budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year (March 2022-March 2023).


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