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EghtesadOnline: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched an ambitious project on Monday to connect houses to a nationwide fiber optic network (fiber-to-the-home) with speeds of up to 1,000 times faster than currently available.

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), also called “fiber to the premises” (FTTP), is the installation and use of optical fiber from a central point directly to individual buildings such as residences, apartment buildings and businesses to provide high-speed Internet access.

The project – which was co-launched by the Iran Telecommunications Company (ICT) – was showcased by the  Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi at the ministry in central Tehran, Press TV reported.

High-speed Internet connectivity is one of the main objectives of the  Rouhani administration which looks to boost economic productivity through globally competitive infrastructure and networks, according to Financial Tribune.

Vaezi described it as a major leap that would revolutionize wired national data network. The launch of the network follows  investments over the past few years in 3G and 4G mobile internet services.

He said the government had been pursuing the development of the national fiber optic network despite the hurdles, including funding issues, estimated by some technology websites at $5 billion.  

Vaezi said his ministry has taken major strides to promote internet-based businesses across Iran, adding that the national fiber optic connectivity project was a major step in that direction.

During the ceremony the minister tested the speed of the connection in front of reporters. According to pictures from the initial speed was 884 megabits per second.     

The project that officials had said would put the country in the “age of gigabit connectivity” has been launched in nine cities.

Vaezi said Iran’s data transfer capacity has increased by 11 times since 2013 to reach 10,000 gigabytes (10 terabytes).  

Internet bandwidth capacity had also increased by 15% to reach as high as 10,000 gigabytes.

An estimated 900 cities and towns currently are under the coverage of third generation of wireless mobile telecommunications while the number of towns and cities under the 4G coverage currently is said to be 742. 

The overall project aims to give Iran a globally competitive Internet infrastructure after lagging behind for more than a decade in infrastructure development.

News of the launch of the system follows that of South African-based MTN Group negotiations with the Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of Iran (TIC) about investing in the expansion of the fiber-optic network.

Iran Internet Iran internet speed Iran fiber optic network