legislator has castigated the government and local operators for not paying enough attention to the underdeveloped telecom infrastructure in rural areas.
In a talk with CITNA, Ali Asadi Karam said “Dozens of Iranian villages do not even have access to conventional telephone services” and also suffer from lack of Internet services.
While the Rouhani’s administration claims that landline and mobile networks penetration has grown exponentially over the past four years, several rural areas still do not have access to either of the services.
Furthermore, according to Karam, the Telecommunication Company of Iran has been rather “discriminative” in providing telecom services in rural areas. “The company simply does not offer any services in several areas.”
It is said that low yields on infrastructure investments in the small rural areas is the main reason the TCI or private companies are not interested.
Regardless of the rapid pace of telecom technology growth in Iran, Internet penetration rate has historically been lower in rural areas compared to similar areas in developed countries.
Telecommunication networks in rural areas are based on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and few villages have access to GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) with limited speed.
The shortcomings are visible while successive governments have been appealing to the rural folks not to move to the big cities. The rural to urban migration pattern has emerged as a major problem for the governments past and present to the extent that almost 70% of Iran’s 80 million population now lives in urban areas.
According to reports, over the past five years, 4.7 million people moved from villages to urban areas. Most say they would not leave if they had permanent jobs and a decent standard of living in their place of birth.