Iranian ISPS defy authorities

Iranian internet service providers (ISPs) are defying a ban from their government on the sale of high-speed internet access in the country

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By  Administrator Published  January 1, 2007

Iranian internet service providers (ISPs) are defying a ban from their government on the sale of high-speed internet access in the country.

ISPs were sent a letter last month from Iran’s telecom regulator, telling them they were not allowed to sell asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) services with a speed higher than 128Kbytes/s. The ban, which follows an earlier ban on satellite dishes in the country, was temporary, the letter said, and would be discussed in a later meeting with providers.

However the CEO of an ISP contacted by Windows’ sister publication IT Weekly said his company would continue selling higher bandwidth to customers that requested it. “My company will continue to sell the bandwidth,” said Arash Naderpour, CEO of internet service provider CTEL Kish.

“We received the letter from them to stop selling the bandwidth but my company will continue to sell it because we think that is not something that they really want to or can do,” said Arash Naderpour, CEO of internet service provider CTEL Kish. “The limitation, they cannot force us to stop it, they cannot check each one of the country’s ports.”

Naderpour added that he expected most other service providers would also do the same, and that people requiring higher bandwidth would, in any case, still be able to obtain it.

The letter did not provide any explanation for the ban on higher internet speeds but it has been widely interpreted as a move by the government to restrict the influence of Western culture in Iran and has attracted criticism from MPs and academics. However, Naderpour said he believed the ban was more likely due to infrastructure problems than to political reasons.

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